We eat a lot of salads, as meals. So to avoid the lettuce, tomato, cucumber snoozefest, I’m always on the lookout for something new to throw in the bowl. A few weeks ago it was a branch of delightful Barhi dates from Flying Disc Ranch. Fresh Barhi dates–bright yellow and firm–are usually only available August through September, but maybe, just maybe, you might spot some still hanging around the market. If so, grab them. In their fresh state, they are crunchy and slightly sweet with flavors of honey and coconut, and they make a wonderful counterpoint to the bitterness of the dandelion greens and peppery nasturtium flowers.
Barhi Date and Bitter Greens Salad (serves 8)
1 bunch fresh dandelion greens, stems removed and cut or torn into smaller pieces
Additional, less bitter lettuce (optional)
8 (or more) Barhi dates, pitted, sliced
8 (or more) cherry or other small tomatoes, quartered
1 avocado, pitted, halved and sliced
Walnut halves, about 16, toasted
Nasturtium flowers (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsps. (45ml) oil (I used hazelnut, but any good quality vegetable oil will do)
1 Tbsp. (15ml) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon (5ml) honey
1 teaspoon (5ml) Dijon mustard
Whisk the dressing ingredients until emulsified. Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing until you have just enough. You might not need it all. Add a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Toss.