Medjool Date, Chorizo and Chick Pea Salad
May, 2014 · By Coryanne Ettiene
I’m the first to admit that sometimes, I can be a bit of cliche; especially when it comes to food and the memories that are tied to it. My life is intertwined with the food I have eaten and the people I’ve shared it with, and nothing is more true of this sentiment than my recipe for roasted date salad. Truth be told, I was so drunk on love the first time I had it that I scarcely recall the recipe…..so I know that I have taken certain liberties with it; but when I serve this dish, it is the perfect combination of the whirlwind romance that spread across Spain and Morocco in 2000 and the little girl inside me who used to run wild in the date groves in Yuma Arizona.
As a child I would snack on dates because they were nothing short of prolific. Often right from the tree, and sometimes slathered in a variety of smokey spices. I never tired of them, especially when they were rolled in coconut. When I think back on my childhood, Medjool dates are at the forefront of my mind, so it is fitting that as a young bride of 25 I found myself under date palms in the North African desert feasting on them hours after getting married.
I remember the excitement of my first bite. I had never tried cooked dates before, let alone served savory with onions, chic peas and meat. Each mouthful was an explosion of taste: sweet, savory, smokey, aromatic, tangy, fiery…. just thinking about it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. But the young bride in me lived in the moment, savoring every bite and then took no notice of it for years until the kitchen became my playground and we revisited Spain for our anniversary 6 years later. We feasted on something similar, but all together different, triggering a memory of our wedding feast that left me hankering to find a way to bring the two dishes together. In the end, I mixed sweet roasted Medjool dates, aromatic chorizo, buttery chic peas and zesty grilled lemons together, served them warm, and with a generous portion of hummus for a bite that goes straight to my heart.
When Natural Delights Medjool Dates asked me to share this recipe with them, it was if the circle had been completed because working with a grower from my hometown of Yuma Arizona is nothing short of fabulous. I serve this recipe right out of the oven, anytime of year. There are so many ways to eat this dish: turn it into a party trick by layering the bread, hummus and salad into small nibbles, serve it as a side to a fabulously roasted chicken, or add it to a fresh green salad. Or you can always do what I do, and eat it right out of the fridge if there are any leftovers.
- 12 Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted & sliced
- 1 Cured Chorizo Sausage, 12 inches long, chopped
- 15 Ounces of Chic Peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Lemon, sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, whole
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Salt & Pepper, for seasoning
- Add the dates, chorizo, chic peas, lemon and garlic to a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. And then lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper for added seasoning before tossing to fully blend the ingredients.
- Transfer to a roasting tray lined with parchment paper and bake in a pre-heated 425F oven for 20 mins on the middle rack.
- Toss them in the roasting pan and then return to them to the oven to roast for a further 10 minutes, or until golden brown. *The trick is to warm and crisp the ingredients, depending on the size of your cuts, you may want to cook them for a total of 40 minutes, so keep an eye on them during the second roasting phase.
- Once roasted, transfer them to a serving dish and serve with toasted pitta bread and fresh hummus.
Looking for more Medjool Date inspiration?
Join me all this week on the Natural Delights Facebook page where I will be sharing kitchen tips, hosting a live Facebook Chat, sharing more of my favorite Medjool date recipes, giving away prizes and highlighting my favorite pins from the Delightful Summer Pinterest Board. And don’t forget to save the date for the #WhyIDate prize packed Twitter Party on Wednesday May 21, 2014 at 8:00pm EST. No RSVP needed, simply follow @CoryanneEttiene and @NDmedjooldates and use the tag #WhyIDate to join the party and be eligible to win the prizes.
Disclaimer: Natural Delights is a client of mine, and I am working with them to promote the #WhyIDate series and the benefits of eating Medjool Dates; all thoughts expressed in this promotion are my own.