OK, so we can’t actually promise that this is an authentic Persian Salad. It isn’t. It was dreamed up in our kitchen while we were making Stuffed Poussin and needed a salad to go with it. But it is inspired by the tastes of the Middle East, and Persia in particular. The figs and dates combined with the nuts give a very rich salad, that is contrasted by the freshness of the salad. You can use whichever salad greens you happen to have in the house. Mesclun salad or rocket would be a good choice, but any other lettuce would also work. The parma ham / prosciutto can be omitted to make the meal vegetarian or vegan.
- 250g of lettuce greens – mesclun salad, rocket lettuce, or other lettuce of your choice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 150g pumpkin
- coconut oil
- 2 slices of parma ham / prosciutto, chopped (optional)
- 25g cashews, chopped and toasted
- 25g almonds, chopped
- 25g pinenuts, chopped
- 2 chopped dates, chopped
- 2 dried figs, chopped
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 ripe avocado
- pinch of coarse sea salt
- Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (420 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Wash the lettuce greens and add them to a bowl
- Place the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a glass and stir vigorously to combine into a vinaigarette. Pour over the lettuce greens and toss to coat all the leaves.
- Cut the pumpkin into roughly 1cm square chunks. Place on a roasting dish in the oven. Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until a fork pricks easily through the pumpkin and the edges have turned golden. Alternatively, toss the pumpkin in 1 tsp of coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cook in an Air Fryer for 10 minutes on 220 degrees Celsius. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before adding to the salad to avoid the greens from wilting.
- Chop up the dates, all the nuts and the parma ham. Fry them together in a pan over a moderate heat with a little coconut oil until golden and crispy. Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the salad greens
- Chop the figs into small pieces and sprinkle over the salad as well.
- Fry the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a moderate heat until they turn golden, stirring all the time to avoid burning. It will take only 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds and a little coarse sea salt over the salad.
- Enjoy on its own as a light meal, or serve together with Persian Stuffed Poussin
Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Hills Like Elephants – The Endless Charade