Arugula and Herb Salad with Dates, Almonds and Sheep Cheese

I recently made this salad for a dinner party and everyone loved it!  We liked it so much that we made a second batch of it after we ate the main course.  It’s loosely based on a salad in the Plenty cookbook by Ottolenghi.  I failed to pick up the turkish sheep cheese that the original recipe called for, but I did have some Kashkaval, which is a mild, soft, earthy sheep cheese from the Balkans.  I think that any sheep cheese would be delicious here.  I did not use red swiss chard or red basil leaves that the recipe called for, but I found the combination of green basil, arugula and dill to be wonderful.   Then at the last minute, I discovered that my pomegranate molasses had hardened into a solid block so I used sorghum syrup , tamarind concentrate and sherry vinegar instead (yes I keep a lot of unusual ingredients in my pantry).  I think that a lot of lemon juice and bit of vinegar and a tiny bit of blackstrap molasses or maple syrup would have worked just as well.

ARUGULA AND HERB SALAD WITH DATES, ALMONDS AND SHEEP CHEESE

  • 2 handfuls of whole almonds (or more)
  • 5 or 6 Large pitted medjool dates (or more)
  • A big bunch of arugula (about 4 cups)
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill
  • A bunch of basil (about 1 cup of leaves, packed)
  • 3 or 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pomegranate  molasses (or 2 teaspoons of sorghum syrup, blackstrap molasses or dark maple syrup with the juice of an entire lemon and a teaspoon of vinegar.  Throw in a 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate if you have it.)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 or 5 oz of sheep cheese (such as kashkaval)
  1. Toast the almonds in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes and then chop them in half.
  2. Slice the dates into a size that you like.
  3. Wash, dry and combine all of the greens and herbs in a large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl combine the  oil, whatever you are using for the sweet and sour element, salt and pepper.   Taste it and adjust the balance of sweet, sour, rich and salty to your liking.
  5. When you are ready to serve the salad toss the herbs and greens with the dressing and then top the salad with the almonds, dates and crumbles of the cheese.

About Big Sis Little Dish

This is a blog run by two sisters. Erin is the big sister who lives in New York, and Silvi is the little sister who lives in Vancouver. They both love to cook! They created this blog to share and store recipes for the food they make.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Ideas for Thanksgiving (2012) « Big Sis Little Dish

  2. Pingback: Feeding the Masses of Miniature Spectacle Makers! | Big Sis Little Dish

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: