Fresh Medjool dates are such a treat and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate them into our meals. This hearty salad of Natural Delights Medjool Dates and carrots is rich and satisfying AND incredibly healthy. Sweet and savory dressing turns creamy in seconds from blending dates and warm spices give it a true comfort food flavor.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Natural Delights. All opinions are my own though.
Perfect for fall and thanksgiving, this Medjool date and carrot salad can be a side dish or a main course. With all the fiber, vitamins and protein in this, it makes lunch or dinner easy.
This was inspired by my fresh autumn Rocket and Pear salad on this site, and pairs well with this Sous Vide Pork Tenderoin recipe or to keep it vegetarian, pair it with my personal favorite, Mushroom Risotto.
Here are the simple and wholesome ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Fresh Medjool Dates - do not substitute dried. I've used Natural Delights Medjool Dates (naturaldelights.ca) because they are fresh, never dried and packaged straight from nature. The softness of these Medjool dates makes the dressing blend up creamy and smooth and is the most unique ingredient in this salad. Carrots and dates are a classic combination that pair together well. You will find these in the produce section of your local grocery store along with the other fresh fruits.
- Kale - this firm green holds rich dressings well
- Orange Juice - fresh squeezed makes a difference in this dressing, use it if you can
See recipe card for quantities.
Coarsely chop 2 Medjool dates, removing the pits if they are not already removed, and place in your blender cup.
Add remaining salad dressing ingredients and blend with your immersion blender or a regular blender until creamy and smooth, approximately 1 minute.
Toss your carrots in half the dressing 15 min-1 hour ahead of time to let them soften before combining with remaining salad ingredients.
Toss remaining ingredients with the carrots and extra dressing right before serving and arrange on a large plate or platter, then sprinkle with pecans.
Hint: Don't toss your greens with the salad dressing until you are ready to serve to keep them vibrant and crisp.
There are few substitutions you can make while still keeping the essence of this salad.
- Pecans - instead of pecans, you can use walnuts or even cashews.
- Kale - almost any hearty green can be used here. Try spinach, arugula, mustard greens or chard.
- Red Wine Vinegar - apple cider vinegar is a perfect substitution if needed.
- Cayenne - you can omit this if you strongly dislike spice or you can add more to add some fire.
Want to change it up?
- Add more protein - try adding a tin of drained chickpeas, a little prosciutto or crumbled cooked chorizo
- Lighten it up - skip the hearty greens and serve the rest of the salad on undressed light mixed greens.
Store any leftover salad in the fridge for up to 3 days. The greens will be well softened but are still nutritious and healthy to eat.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes! You can make all the components up to 3 days ahead and keep them separately. Toss them all together when you're ready to enjoy.
Natural Delights Medjool Dates are so versatile you'll be surprised how much you can do with them. They work perfectly in energy balls offering stickiness and sweetness, they puree well into smoothies and make excellent cakes and bars. They are wonderful for savory recipes too. Try stuffing them with cheese or nuts, adding to salads as I did here or wrapping in bacon or prosciutto. On their own, they are an amazing little snack for on the go.
Yes, so healthy! Full of fiber, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, potassium and manganese. There are also substantial amounts of many other vitamins and minerals including iron and antioxidants too.
It depends how you look at it. They each have a similar amount of protien, vitamins and fiber but dried dates are more concentrated making them higher in calories bite for bite. Fresh Medjool dates are softer and larger, and bite for bite, contain fewer calories making them best for pairing with other fresh fruit and vegetables.
Try this Medjool date dressing in other dishes too! Top fresh greens with sliced, grilled pork loin or barbecued chicken and drizzle with dressing or use it to on a roasted root veggie salad.
Thanks for reading along, as always, I look forward to your feedback. Did you try it? Did you like it? Wondering how to grow your own arugula? For fast support with recipe questions, follow me on Instagram or Facebook and message me there. I try to reply quickly with any urgent cooking q's 😉
PS. Don't forget to check out my home and kitchen shop at www.westcoastkitchengarden.com
Medjool Dates and Carrot Salad
- 2 Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 tablespoon Orange Juice fresh squeezed is most flavorful
- ⅛ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne (Optional)
- ¼ teaspoon Salt and ⅛ teaspoon Pepper Use salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c Natural Delights Medjool Dates, quartered lengthwise and pits removed
- 1 ½ c Carrots, peeled and sliced into ⅛" coins
- 1 c Parsely, finely chopped
- 4 c Kale, coarsely chopped into large bite size pieces
- ¾ c Pecans, coarsely chopped
- Add all dressing ingredients to immersion blender cup or regular blender. Process on high until it is smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
- 15-60 minutes before serving, toss carrots with half of dressing and let sit to soften.
- Right before serving, in a large bowl toss Medjool dates, parsley and kale with carrots and remaining dressing. Arrange on a platter or individual plates and top with chopped pecans and enjoy immediately.