Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan Mofo #8 - Donna’s Romaine Salad with Lemon Date Dressing...

Vegan Mofo #8 - Donna’s Romaine Salad with Lemon Date Dressing

The Book - The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
The Author - Donna Klein
The Recipe - Romaine Salad with Lemon Date Dressing
Page # 80
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - 15 minutes

When it comes to salad I think there are two kinds of people. Those how love it, and those who see it as a means to an end. They begrudgingly eat it because it’s served in front of them, and they just want to get though it so they can get to the main course. The first kind of person loves salad based on it’s own merits and doesn’t drown it in dressing. The second person smothers and chokes their salad in heavy, rich, calorie overflowing, fat laden, sugary, oily, cheesy dressings. I’ve seen this so many times and it always amazes me that people can still think salad is healthy when it is literally swimming in Ranch dressing. It boggles the mind. I am definitely a member of the first category. I love a good salad, and though I like dressing I don’t smother my salads in it. There was a time growing up where I might have done but not anymore.

That’s what I love so much about this salad. Not only is it quick to prepare but it’s beautiful in it’s simplicity. There are so few ingredients and yet the flavor is immense. It’s also the perfect summer salad in my opinion. Perfect for serving as the first course to a hearty dinner of grilled vegetables and rice or potatoes. Or the perfect light side to a heavier bolder main dish. What I really love about this salad is it’s Moroccan influence. I really love Moroccan food, and find the paring of this salads cinnamon with coriander to be brilliant. Also the use of dates, genius! Dates are a fruit that I quite like, but don’t eat in abundance because I find them too sweet. It never would have occurred to me to pair them with lemon in a salad dressing. At first it seemed a bit strange to me to have all these chopped up bits of date floating around in my dressing, then sprinkled across my romaine, but it really is magical. The dressing really is fantastic, and brings out the natural flavor of the romaine. All those chewy bits of date were a nice change of pace also.

Though it should be noted that depending on your diet/lifestyle choices you may want to reduce the amount of olive oil or sugar that’s used. I didn’t bother but I did make another change. I ended up dicing up one large tomato and a handful of green onions to toss into the salad just for a little more color and that nice sweet mild onion flavor.

As for serving I ended up plating this salad alongside my Roasted Butternut Squash with Cilantro Garlic Miso Sauce, but you could really serve it with just about anything, like I mentioned. I think because of the salads natural cooling flavor it would go particularly well with spicier fare, particularly other Moroccan inspired dishes.


  1. Beautiful salad! I actually own Mediterranean vegan kitchen, but seldom cook from it. Not sure why, but your post has inspired me to crack it open and look for that dressing ^_^

  2. I've had what I would've once considered some really bizarre salad combinations but DAMN if they don't turn out good! ;) I am now a full-on believer in fruits being in salads. lol - Matt