This Date Salad with Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans and Citrus Vinaigrette is a refreshingly tangy-and-sweet summer dish. I like to serve this over baby spinach leaves or mixed greens for a delicious lunch or light supper when it’s too hot to grill or cook indoors.
We discovered this mixed greens date salad during a trip to the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells, and enjoyed it so much that we’ve had it on repeat during our weekly recipe rotation. If you can, be sure to use real Palm Springs dates. Medjool and Deglet Noor both work well in this salad.
Two of our favorite places for dates are Hadley’s Orchards and Shield’s Date Garden in Indio. (And while you’re there, don’t miss out on one of their famous date shakes!
To prepare this delicious date salad, you’ll need to prepare the citrus vinaigrette by blending fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, some real maple syrup, Dijon mustard and a shallot. You can do this well ahead of time so the flavors meld in the refrigerator. You’ll also need to cook the quinoa and have it chilled before you prepare the salad.
The assembly for this date salad with goat cheese is a breeze! Place your mixed greens or baby spinach in a large serving bowl and top with the chilled and cooked quinoa, crumbled goat cheese, and candied pecans. Although you can make candied pecans yourself, we just buy the small package at Trader Joe’s. When ready to serve, toss with the citrus vinaigrette and enjoy!
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Palm Springs Date Salad with Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans + Citrus VinaigretteRecipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
For the Salad
- 8 cups mixed greens or baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
- 10 Medjool or Deglet Noor dates pitted
- 10 candied pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
- 2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Make the Vinaigrette
- Puree all of the vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil and blend until the dressing is emulsified. Pour into a jar or Tupperware container and refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well before using.
Assemble the Salad
- Place the greens in a large salad bowl. Top with the quinoa, dates, goat cheese and candied pecans.
- Toss with citrus vinaigrette (to your taste) and serve cold.
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