Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Romaine Salad with Lemon-Date Dressing

I usually make things up as I go along when it comes to salad rather than hunting down recipes, but this one is a keeper. It's from Donna Klein's Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, and it's so clever and delicious in its simplicity: crisp romaine tossed with chopped dates and dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, ground coriander seed, a hint of cinnamon and sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. 

I couldn't find the recipe published online, but it's the type of thing that's easy to wing. I prefer to use just a tad bit of cinnamon--just enough to add that flavor dimension without overpowering, and go light on the sweetener to get a tangier result. It seems really minimal, but the textures and flavors add up to more than a sum of their parts. Sometimes, I like to add chopped walnuts or red onion, which are yummy with it too.

In keeping with the North African-inspired flavors of the dressing, I recently used it on another salad, this one made with aubergine, chickpeas, and cilantro.

I pan fried the eggplant slices in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, which works great if you keep an eye on them and turn regularly--the slices go nice and soft without any oil.  This salad was even better after marinating in the dressing for several hours to let the aubergine soak up the dressing.

I've been uninspired in the kitchen lately, but wanted to get at least one post up before October is gone...I can't believe how fast it's flown by!

Happy Halloween!

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