My tasty Orange & Date Salad is a refreshing side dish to basically any meal. I especially serve this dish often with grilled foods. The combination of flavors is fantastic and it takes just minutes to put together.
Oranges are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia thousands of years ago. This sweet and juicy fruit is chock full of nutritional value being a very rich source of both Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Oranges are thought to play a key role in overall cardiovascular well being, immune support and respiratory health. Oranges also have cholesterol lowering and antioxidant benefits.
Dates have a long culinary history and have been cultivated since the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations -- they are still a staple in the Middle Eastern diet today. Dates are an excellent source of both dietary fiber and potassium. Dates are also naturally sweet, so just a few dates will satisfy any sweet tooth without the added cholesterol or fat – definitely nature’s candy!
ORANGE & DATE SALAD
5-6 medium oranges
½ cup pitted dates, chopped
¼ cup toasted pistachios & almonds, chopped
1 tsp orange blossom water (or rose water)
pinch of ground cardamom powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of orange blossom honey or sugar, if needed
a few fresh mint leaves for garnish
Peel the oranges and then section them over a mixing bowl to catch their juice. Set aside the orange sections until needed.
Now to the mixing bowl with the orange juice, add the orange blossom water along with the spices (ground cardamom water and freshly grated nutmeg) and the orange blossom honey if needed. Next, add in the pitted dates and toasted nuts (pistachios and almonds). Mix well and then carefully add in the orange sections along with any juice. Gently toss well to combine all of the ingredients. Garnish with a few fresh mint leaves and serve as part of any delicious meal.
Instead of oranges, this salad could also be made using fresh tangerines or clementines. You could also use blood oranges if you like or a combination of these citrus fruits.
Instead of pistachios and almonds, feel free to use walnuts or pecans. You can also add a pinch of ground cinnamon or ground allspice.
Instead of orange blossom water, you could use almond or vanilla extract. For decadence, add a pinch of saffron.
For a slightly more savory version of this salad add some finely chopped red onion along with a pinch of smoked Spanish paprika, ground cumin powder, grated ginger and freshly ground black pepper. Feel free to add some baby arugula leaves, sliced fennel and crumbled goat cheese.