Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Date, Orange and Bitter Leaf Salad

  My third post for The Cookbook Guru, inspired by Paula Wolfert’s “The Food of Morocco” is  Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad.

I loved the idea of this salad the minutes I read the recipe but my first effort, made exactly to the original recipe was very disappointing. I chose to use rocket as suggested, but the greens needed much more punch to hold their own against the large pieces of date while the orange juice dressing, made without oil was insipid.

Last winter we binged on radicchio salad, radicchio with grapes, radicchio with pickled orange, radicchio with candied walnuts, all perfect juxtapositions of  bitter and sweet. Radicchio became the logical choice for a remake of this salad.

The sweetness of Medjool dates can dominate when combined with less assertive ingredients so I decided to cut them finely, contrary to Wolfert’s instructions.

I included the finely grated zest of one orange in the dressing to make it more assertive and added lemon infused oil to the mix, I seasoned the salad quite heavily with sea salt and fresh pepper.

This time the salad was a harmonious blend of textures and flavours all at once sweet, bitter, nutty and fresh.

This is my adaptation of Paula Wolfert’s Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad.

3 navel oranges

Zest of one orange

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 medjool dates

2 tablespoons orange blossom water

1 small head of radicchio

2 tablespoons lemon infused oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Use a microplane to finely grate the zest of 1 orange.

Cut the peel and all the pith off the oranges then holding the oranges over a bowl to collect the juice, cut the segments away from the membranes.

Add the orange segments, zest and cinnamon to the collected orange juice and toss to combine.

Pit the dates then cut each into long thin shreds.

Toss the strips of date in the orange blossom water.

Wash and dry the radicchio. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces then arrange on a serving platter.

Drain the orange segments and date slices setting the juices aside. Arrange the fruit on top of the raddicchio.

Season the salad with salt flakes and ground pepper.

Add the lemon oil to the orange and date juices, whisk to emilsify, then spoon the dressing over the salad.

Scatter the nuts and some extra ground cinnamon over the top.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Date, Orange and Bitter Leaf Salad

  1. Fig & Quince
    April 30, 2015

    Looks utterly divine! I’d love to make this.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 30, 2015

      It tastes even better than it looks Azita, a really great combo of flavours.

      Like

  2. Michelle
    April 28, 2015

    Beautiful! I love bitter greens most any way, but they’re definitely at their best when paired with something sweet like dates.

    Like

  3. dunelight
    April 28, 2015

    Radichio is such a nice bitter punch…we often put local fruit in our summer salads with Radichio to kick up the greens. This sounds tasty.

    Like

  4. Leah
    April 26, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:
    As the month is drawing to a close, and so is our focus on Paula Wolfert’s The Food of Morocco, Please Pass The Recipe shares something different with us in the form of a Moroccan salad.

    Happy Reading and Happy Cooking,
    Leah

    Like

  5. Gather and Graze
    April 25, 2015

    Gorgeous winter flavours at work here Sandra! Sounds so well balanced and thought out – I’ll look forward to trying this.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 25, 2015

      The flavour is quite sophisticated Margot. Do the boys like radicchio?

      Like

      • Gather and Graze
        April 26, 2015

        No, perhaps one more for the adults… though I’m keen for them to keep trying these things out.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        April 26, 2015

        The sweet bits might just do the trick…..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Darya
    April 24, 2015

    Love the sound of this! Dates in salad are wonderful (I love them in beet salad), and I love that you went for radicchio instead of arugula. Delicious!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 24, 2015

      The radicchio was a good match with the dates. Nice to hear from you Darya

      Like

  7. tinywhitecottage
    April 24, 2015

    I agree with all points made by Francesca. Except I would love to have this salad now. I have been enjoying making new salads these days and I’m going to serve this one as well. We really enjoy radicchio and I have a small head in the fridge right now. Lovely salad Sandra.

    Like

  8. Francesca
    April 24, 2015

    Lovely winter salad, Sandra. I love radicchio. Its bitterness is exciting in terms of taste. I know it’s not for everyone but I’m a huge believer in “the fewer the better”!

    Like

  9. Greenshoots Photography
    April 23, 2015

    Sounds a perfect balance of ingredients and a real must try!

    Like

  10. cheergerm
    April 23, 2015

    Your fine tuning has created a gorgeous looking and sojnding winter salad.

    Like

  11. Serena @ foodfulife
    April 23, 2015

    Beautiful!!

    Like

  12. Francesca
    April 23, 2015

    Your version sounds much better. Whole dates would be quite silly looking in a salad like this and no oil? I can’t imagine that. This version, with radicchio- a favourite of mine too- looks perfectly balanced. Will keep this in mind for a winter salad.

    Like

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