When it comes to Ramadan foods, the first thing we think of is dates. These little sweet gems are the most traditional food that grace our Ramadan tables every year. There are a few foods that are delicious year-round but become an everyday food during the month of fasting, like sambousek, soups and salads. I love to get creative with my salads in Ramadan and am always trying to make them more exciting and delicious.
The theme for my Ramadan series this year is dates, and I immediately knew I wanted to make a salad with dates in it, but in addition to dates, I used date molasses, an ingredient I’ve started using regularly in both savoury and sweet dishes. Its caramelly and treacly flavour adds dimension and depth to any dish.
Unlike most people, I rarely use lettuce in any of my salads. I love to use a variety of greens and for this salad, I chose rocket for a bit of spice and a kick and baby spinach for an earthy sweetness, and I have to say, the two work perfectly together. This salad is quite simple with few ingredients, but each plays its part to make a delicious combination, which is why I like to cut everything to a similar size so you can get the perfect bite of everything every time.
I absolutely love caramelised walnuts or pecans in a salad, but I wanted to try something different and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The date molasses pairs so well with the walnuts, but you want to be careful you don’t leave it on the heat too long so it doesn’t burn. Leave them to cool as you prepare the rest of the salad, but unlike sugar, the molasses becomes stickier, not hard and crunchy like syrup, so don’t be alarmed.
Try out this delicious salad and I promise it’ll be a great start to both your Ramadan and iftar.
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup rocket
1 granny smith apple, cut into medium pieces
½ cup baby tomatoes, cut in half
10 dates, cut into medium pieces
Feta cheese to garnish
1 cup walnuts
½ tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp date molasses
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
3-4 tbsp date molasses (or to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Begin with making the caramelised walnuts. Melt the butter in a frying pan and toast the walnuts for a few seconds. Add the date molasses and stir quickly, making sure the walnuts are coated evenly. Cook for 30 seconds-1 minute and place walnuts on parchment paper to cool.
- To make the salad, arrange all the ingredients in a serving platter. Top with the cool caramelised walnuts and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Enjoy!
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