A couple of weekend's ago, I ended up with dates in my pantry passed on to me from my housemate's fiance's mom. I'll spare you the convoluted story.
I've had dates a few times, have always wanted to like them, but just haven't known what to do with their surprising sweetness and stickiness. While perusing my favorite cookbook, Joy of Cooking, I found this brown rice salad recipe featuring dates as one of the main ingredients along with other Middle Eastern flavors including citrus, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, raisins, and lemon juice.
When I made this Middle Eastern brown rice salad today, I changed about half a dozen things from the original recipe based off of what I had on hand. Final result? I like dates! The dates added little pockets of sticky sweetness to the complex flavors in the salad. I highly recommend.
1.5 cups uncooked brown rice
16 dates, pitted and diced
2 tangelos diced
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom (We were out of cinnamon, so I used cardamom and a dash of chili powder instead. Delicious.)
chili powder to taste
salt to taste
1. Cook the rice.
2. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl.
3. Once the rice has cooled, mix everything together and serve at room temperature.