I made this for lunch the other day after buying some dates on a whim. I really love the contrasting and complimentary flavors. The citrus bite of the oranges, the mellow sweetness of the dates, the sharp crunch of the fennel and the toastiness of the hazelnuts makes for a delicious combination - both unique and healthy.
I wasn't sure at first how to dress this salad but ultimately decided to keep it simple and light. A small drizzle of walnut oil along with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and the barest sprinkling of sea salt was just what it needed.
For one serving:
- 1 orange
- 2-3 dates, pitted and sliced into thin strips
- 6 slices of shaved fennel
- 8 hazelnuts
- 2 large leaves of butter lettuce
- Walnut oil
- Sea salt
Cut off both ends of the orange and then slice off the peel and pith. With a sharp paring knife, cut out the orange segments from the membranes.
Toss the lettuce, hazelnuts, orange segments, fennel and dates in a bowl. Drizzle a little walnut oil and lemon juice over the salad. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve immediately.