This is my new favorite salad. The medjool dates are so sweet, the pecans have the crunch, and the feta and pecans together give it just enough salt. It’s healthy and delicious! My plan was to eat this for my lunch for a few days because I still am trying to take off a few pounds for Italy, but it didn’t last past the first day. James and Mom finished off the bowl before I could take any to work. I had to eat take out from Piggly Wiggly’s deli instead. That meant I had to have some of their fried okra and home cut french fries, too. Oh well, I had to add a little more cardio and didn’t lose any weight this week, but at least I didn’t gain any either.
When I decided to make this salad, I had no idea of a recipe or what I was about to throw together. I just knew I wanted raw vegetables. I started chopping cauliflower and broccoli and trying to find inspiration. I found dates in the back of the refrigerator that I had planned on using in a dressing last week so I chopped those into little niblets. I knew I needed something nutty and salty so I toasted a cup of pecans to be added.
When I blended them all together, it just wasn’t colorful enough so I added a orange bell pepper. I think about colors and shapes as much as I think about taste when I’m designing a recipe.
The orange sprinkles was just enough color to beautify my salad. I didn’t decide to add the feta until the end after it was already on the plate. When I tasted it, I thought it needed a little more salt. A lot of times when I want something to taste saltier, I will sprinkle on a little feta. It’s a salty cheese so it usually does the trick.
Here’s my close-up:
I threw together a dressing with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Greek yogurt and a little syrup. I wanted to use honey but we were out so I substituted maple syrup. The syrup worked just fine, but next time I may try honey to compare the difference. The Greek yogurt was my emulsifier. For those of you who aren’t used to making your on dressings, an emulsifier such as mustard, cream, garlic, or even tomato paste is good to add to a vinaigrette because it helps the oil and vinegar blend together and stay that way.
Don’t forget to add the feta, but I would add it after I plated the salad. I did this on accident, and it worked out better because my feta didn’t get squished and gooey. Also, make sure to get it evenly distributed with each serving. You must try this salad at least once because it’s so easy to make and delicious, too. In the words of one of my students, “It’s easy, peasy!”
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
- 1 large orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cup pecans
- 4 large medjool dates
- 2 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 1 ounce olive oil
- 1 ounce honey
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- ½ cup of feta cheese
- Chop broccoli, cauliflower, and orange bell pepper into really small pieces.
- Toast pecans in a skillet with a little olive oil for about 5 minutes on low. I like them to be just a little crispy. Roughly chop them.
- Chop medjool dates into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, mix broccoli, cauliflower, pecans, orange bell pepper, and medjool dates.
- In a small bowl whisk together 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar, 1 ounce of olive oil, 1 ounce of honey or syrup, and 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt.
- Stir in the dressing.
- Place servings on plates and sprinkle with feta. I don’t add the feta until it’s ready to be served. I put about an ounce on each plate.