Serendipity is an amazing thing! I had been planning a series of recipes based on one of my all time favourite cuisines, Moroccan, when I discovered that my neighbourhood kitchen store, Posh Pantry, was offering classes in it! Yes! Well, what an inspiration this course turned out to be. I came away all fired up, ready to cook and my head bursting with ideas and images. It’s amazing what a few hours of watching a pro cook, can do for you! You see, this was one of these luxurious cooking classes where the only time you lift a finger is to lick the last morsel of some divine dish that the chef has just demonstrated and serve up for you! When our chef, Glynes Morgan (co-author of “The Girls Who Dish! series), plated up this salad, I knew I would have to put it on my blog! Everything about it was crying out to be blogged about – the colours, the texture, the fragrance blast of fresh oranges, tomatoes, fennel and fresh herbs! I dearly wish somebody would invent scratch-and-sniff for bloggers!! But I guess I am doing the next best thing by sharing the recipe and pics with you right now!
So here is the start of my Moroccan series. This recipe comes to you courtesy of Chef Glynes Morgan. I have only adjusted the quantity of a few ingredients, as the recipe makes a really big salad. You can make the salad on one big platter or on individual plates. You don’t have to style it like did for the photographs; it still looks beautiful and your dinner guests will be so impressed! I hope you love it as much as I do!
4 tomatoes quartered and chopped or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 medium white onion, slivered into julienne strips
3 – 4 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds (you can use a combination of regular oranges and blood oranges)
8 – 12 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced
½ cup each torn mint and basil leaves
½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped, stems removed
½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, stems removed
Sliced black olives
Thinly sliced fennel
Crumbled feta cheese
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon smoked hot paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together by hand or in the blender. Set aside.
To assemble the salad:
Arrange orange slices on a serving platter.
If using fennel, place on top of oranges.
Combine the chopped cucumber, tomato and onion with some of the dressing and place on top of the fennel.
Sprinkle with the chopped dates and any optional ingredients.
Top with more dressing and sprinkle with fresh, chopped herbs.
Serve as a first course or as a light lunch accompanied by some grilled chicken or kabobs.