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!


  1. I'm always skeptical when it comes to adding fruits to salads, and I don't think i had heard of dates in green salads before. I'd be interested in trying that. It actually looks good.

    And the plate with the eggplant salad, hummus and flat bread seems to die for. When you pan fry the eggplant in a dry skillet, is it a cast iron or a non-stick skillet?

    1. I thought dates with romaine was unusual when I first saw the recipe too. But, they go really well with the coriander and cinnamon and contrast well with the lemon juice.

      I use a cast iron skillet. :)

  2. So delicious! Hope you get some inspiration back, everything looks amazing.<3

    Vegetarian CourtesyCheesePapas

  3. It's been so long since I've opened Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen! With new cookbooks always coming on the scene, it's easy to forget the books of yore. The salad looks very tasty!

    1. I know me's been on my bookshelf for ages. I came across this particular recipe about 5 years ago. :)

  4. The Mediterranean plate looks restaurant worthy - the aubergine salad in particular looks amazing. it's definitely the sort of meal that you'd feel like you'd be treating yourself if you made at home!

  5. Wow! just wow!!!
    Both salads look great but the one with aubergine is calling me !
    I'll have to buy aubergine sooner than later because I absolutely want to try this salad

  6. Triple the Wow! Such beautiful photography and food styling. I like tart fruit in salads, but sweet would probably be good as well. Eggplant sure has a pretty French name.

  7. The salad is mouth watering! Awesome! I hope I can get the recipe. I also follow one website which talks about vegan food and fitness,
    take care!

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