Moroccan recipes: Date-Citrus Salad

This recipe is inspired by a semi-recent trip to Marrakech. The three ingredients- mint, dates, and oranges give you a feel for Morocco. 

Every restaurant and home you went to, you would be offered mint tea. Dates would be found served on the side or used to sweeten smoothies. And oranges— everywhere! Just one hike up to the Atlas mountains and I saw just how abundant oranges were. Locals would run cool streams of water off the waterfalls to naturally cool their oranges. The elaborate display of pinwheels and coke bottles made you stop for a much needed break. After some rough terrain hiking on a sunny April day, we made it halfway and gave in. Fresh orange juice and sugared mint tea is just what we needed to continue on the hike.

Back California and the creation of this salad. This is a delicately simple recipe with the hardest part being the segmented oranges. You can always just peel the oranges and chop them up, but they look so beautiful without the white pith surrounding them. 

I was happy to work on this recipe because we have wild mint growing in the yard and had just won 5 lbs. of Medjool dates at an Armenian benefit lunch. Three months later, we’re still working through it.

You’ll see the first picture where the salad is nestled in with wild mint. California climate is really similar to Moroccan climate and Mediterranean cuisine. If you want a light, refreshing salad, you can’t go wrong with this one. Once you learn the easy dressing, you can out that one in your back pocket. It’s my belief if you learn a simple dressing, you can eat healthy for a lifetime.

For more recipes and stories, check out my new cookbook “Stories from Morocco: a food and travel memoir” now available through Kindle. 

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 4 small handfuls mixed greens
  • 4 medium dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 springs fresh mint, torn in small pieces
  • 1 orange or 4 kumquats, segmented
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ freshly cracked pepper

Toss greens with dates, mint, and orange segments. Toss with dressing and serve immediately

How to segment the orange

Kumquat tree in the yard

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