Ottolenghi’s orange and date salad
Gorgeous, Tasty and Healthful
Ottolenghi is renowned for his gorgeous, produce-ladened healthy food. I love paging through his cookbooks for inspiration or just to find a great recipe. His latest book Plenty More is packed with eye-candy vegetarian recipes.
This orange and date salad is every bit as tasty as it is beautiful. I added a handful of quartered fresh figs, which I think ups both the taste and visual allure of this salad. Ottolenghi's recipe calls for Lollo Rosso lettuce, which can be hard to come by. I recommend substituting a red leaf lettuce or red tipped butter lettuce.
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Orange Blossom Water
Orange flower water, also known as orange blossom water, is an ingredient used frequently in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Check out my post on Orange Blossom Water to learn how to use and where to buy this aromatic ingredient.
- 4 large oranges
- 2 t fennel, toasted and crushed
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 t orange flower water
- ½ t cinnamon
- 4 T olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 small head red butter or red curly leaf lettuce
- 4 Medjool dates, quartered lengthwise
- 6 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
- 6 figs, quartered
- ⅓ cup red onion, thinly sliced.
- 1 large handful cilantro, chopped
- 1 small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 small handful mint, chopped
- Prepare the oranges by using a sharp knife to first cut off the top and the bottom of the orange and then remove the rind and the pith. Work to get all of the pith off as it leaves a bitter flavor. You will be left with a "naked" orange. Slice the oranges into ¼" slices. Set aside or refrigerate while you prepare the salad. Oranges can be prepared several hours in advance.
- To make the dressing combine the fennel seeds, garlic, lemon juice, orange flower water and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large shallow bowl or platter begin to build the layered salad starting with the arugula and butter lettuce. Arrange the orange and radish slices, dates and onion on top of the lettuce. Garnish with chopped herbs and drizzle with dressing.