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A date with arugula and blue cheese salad

In my world a salad has to be spectacular, the freshest of greens and vegetables, the brightest of colours and a delicious splash of flavour. This is one of those salads.

This is a contemporary Middle Eastern twist on the famed Waldorf salad. It plays with bitterness in the form of greens paired beautifully with sweet, vinaigrette, crunchy walnuts and dates, and pungent blue cheese. The flavours pair well beautifully making this a rich salad that is a favourite with my guests. This is a salad I can make every day. As a note, I always use Medjool dates, they are richer, softer and more delicious than the other varieties I have tried.

This is a wonderful cookbook, one that I definitely do not cook from enough. The flavours are spectacular, and not all recipes are as demanding, as this one is. It highlights the cuisine of the region, the recipes are well-written and the pictures beautiful. Palomar restaurant in London is a go-to destination for modern Middle Eastern cuisine. It is so on my bucket list.

For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.





Ingredients:

For the caramelized walnuts:

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup walnut halves


For the citrus vinaigrette:

2 small garlic cloves. minced finely

1/2 cup orange juice

Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

1 tablespoon date syrup

1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

Salt, to taste

4 tablespoons oil


For the salad:

4 cups chicory or arugula

1 small head of red cabbage or radicchio, thinly sliced

1 Granny Smith apple

6-7 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into quarters longitudinally

4 oz. Blue cheese

Salt, to taste


Heat a large frying pan with the sugar. The sugar will melt naturally, do not move or shake the pan, into a light syrup. Cook the syrup till it turns a dark caramel, but does not burn. Remove from the stove and add the walnuts tossing them well with a spatula. Let the mix cool slightly and remove the walnuts in single pieces onto a silicone sheet, or parchment paper, to cool completely. Note: the walnuts will not be coated completely with sugar but that is okay. Store in an air-tight container.


Mix all the ingredients for the dressing well. Allow to sit for 1 hour for the flavours to come together.


To serve the salad. layer an individual-sized bowl with the green and toss some of the red cabbage on top. Cut the apple into thin slices and place on top. Add 2-3 slivers of the data on top. Add a thin slice of blue cheese to the centre. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of dressing and salt and scatter the walnuts. Serve immediately with extra dressing on the side.

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