greens with dates, nuts & harissa
I know it’s only mid-April, but the fact of the matter is – in South Florida it’s already bathing suit season. And my recent travels to France have left me with more than just a warm remembrance of my morning croissant — the evidence of my indulgences are egregiously attached to my waistline. It’s salad time. Scott doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. He’ll thank me later.
That said, I sometimes get in a salad rut. Always making the same type. With the same dressing. Day in and day out. Ad nauseum. Lettuce, black olives, cucumber, tomato, feta. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. But sometimes you just want to mix it up, right?
This salad of greens with dates and a spicy-sweet harissa dressing is a delicious departure from the ordinary.
I started with the greens – crisp romaine leaves and tender kale. Well, it gets tender after you massage it, releasing it’s fresh grassy scent. Then I added some carrots, cucumbers and sticky-sweet dates.
I like a salty bite in salad and prosciutto fits that profile. It’s persnickety though. I tried to cut it into even strips, but it was already sliced so paper thin that it just kept ripping. So manage that however you can — torn or sliced, it will taste as good. Just don’t stack prosciutto together or it will form a compact little ball in the salad instead of being strewn throughout.
For the dressing, a lemony-scented harissa vinaigrette got me out of my oil and vinegar doldrums. You’re going to want to try this one — and don’t wait until swimsuit season!
Greens with Dates, Nuts and Harissa
- 2 cups kale tough stems removed
- 2 cups romaine lettuce roughly chopped
- 1 carrot
- 1/4 english cucumber
- 1 egg
- 3 dates
- 3 slices prosciutto
- 1/4 cup salted cashews
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon harissa
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- grind of black pepper
- In a small saucepan, cover an egg with cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for one minute. Remove the pan from heat and let the egg steep in the water for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place kale on a cutting board and massage it for about 10-15 seconds until it softens and becomes fragrant. Roughly chop the kale and transfer it to a salad bowl. Add the romaine lettuce.
- Peel the carrot and use either a julienne scraper or a box grater to julienne/grate the carrot. Add to the lettuce.
- Cut the english cucumber in half, lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" half moon slices and transfer to the salad bowl.
- Slice dates in half lengthwise. Remove the pit, then dice the dates into small pieces and add to the salad.
- Either slice or tear the prosciutto into pieces and sprinkle over the salad. (Prosciutto tends to stick to itself, so it's better to separate the pieces in the salad to avoid getting one big ball of it on your plate.)
- Drain the water from the pan, run the egg under cool water. Gently crack the shell and peel the shell from the egg. Slice the egg in half and set aside.
- Roughly chop cashews and sprinkle over the salad.
for the dressing
- In a small bowl combine the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, honey, harissa, salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined. Taste for seasonings -- if you like it sweeter, add honey. If you want more spice add harissa etc.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Place boiled egg on the salad to serve.