I found a recipe last week that looked pretty good. Since I haven’t had a warm salad in some time, I decided to make the dish. I wrote down all the ingredients and went to the store to purchase them. Unfortunately, once I got to the store, I realized that they didn’t sell many of what I needed. Because of that, I threw caution to the wind and used what I’ve learned about cooking and flavors to come up with my own recipe. It really wasn’t terribly difficult. All I needed was a few sweet ingredients, a few savory ingredients and a few in between. I have to tell you, I did a marvelous job because I thoroughly enjoyed the salad. It was delicious.
Originally, this recipe called for farro, dried apricots and pecans, among other things. Since Hannaford didn’t offer some of those key ingredients, I decided to go my own way with a mix of grains, dates and walnuts. I also altered the cooking instructions somewhat and was surprised with the outcome. Delicious. Great flavor profile. It’s the dates, I swear. They’re awesome.
2 Cups Dried Grains (Farro, Red Wheat, Wheat Berry, Barley)
1/2 Cup Dates (Sliced Lengthwise)
1/2 Cup Pitted Green Olives, Chopped
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Honey
2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme, Minced
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped and Toasted
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt, Divided
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Hannaford for their Fresh publication. It’s where I pulled this recipe and now I can add this one to my collection of other fabulous recipes.
Cook the Grain
All the grain I used for this recipe (examples given above) takes about an hour to cook. They all require two cups water to one cup grain, so cooking it is pretty easy. Basically, all you need to do for this particular recipe is add four cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a pot over high heat on your stove top. Then, once the water is boiling, add the grain, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let the contents cook for an hour. After that, drain off any excess water and that’s it.
Combine Ingredients in Skillet
Once the grain is finished cooking, warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the grain to it along with the olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir a few times and allow everything to cook for about 10 minutes. The purpose behind this step is to allow the grain to absorb some of the flavors these ingredients offer.
Combine All Ingredients
Turn off the stove top heat. Then, transfer the contents of the skillet to a large bowl. Add the dates, olives, thyme, cayenne pepper, parsley and walnuts. Toss everything together well, plate and serve.
That’s really all there is to this one. You can divide the salad between individual bowls or put it into a larger serving bowl and simply bring that to the table. Either way, I think you’ll love this dish. If you decide to try it out, please let me know your thoughts down below. Thanks for reading!