Royalty Salad

I fondly call this Royalty Salad because it features ingredients fit for royalty--dates, candied nuts, and honey. Grilling fruits produce caramelized smokiness that complement the sharp nuttiness of arugula and creaminess of chevre.

Valentine’s Day is a fine excuse to momentarily forget our ever so fragile resolutions to eat better and exercise more, and indulge in decadent dishes without a smidgen of guilt.

On February 14th, it’s going to be an all day gastronomic feast for us at home, starting with a bowl of sinful seafood pasta.

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For dinner, it’s always a good idea to go with a his/hers type of meal. Why? You both get to eat your favourite food with your favourite person in the world, and that’s two of the best things in life.

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As you can tell, I can’t get enough of seafood. It’s no surprise that my ideal V-day dinner is salmon and vichyssoise. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name—it’s basically potato and leek soup. I like mine velvety smooth, served cool, with a touch of crème fraiche. I love salmon because it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and eat, and exceptionally delicious food prepared in 5 minutes is a beautiful miracle that I am willing to share to frenzied working moms all over the world. Salmon is perfect with a zippy lemon truffle cream sauce that you can prepare in a breeze. I am not kidding you.

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For my partner-in-crime, it’s steak and greens. He has recently joined the paleo craze and has asked me in the nicest caveman voice he could muster to create a side dish that would approximate the creamy, carby satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes. I suggested bone marrow. Mr. Flintstone raised his club in approval.

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Grilled Pear, Dates, Goat Cheese, Candied Nut Salad with Honey and Balsamic Reduction


Pears or peaches
Pecan praline or any nut brittle
Goat cheese or brie
Dried dates or dried figs
Pure honey
Balsamic reduction or Balsamic vinaigrette


1.    Wash arugula and romaine and dry using a salad spinner. Wash pears, slice in half, and pat dry.
2.    Lightly oil a cast iron griddle. Grill halved pears just until grill marks appear.
3.    To assemble salad, scatter romaine and arugula on a plate. Lay grilled pears over greens. Top with cheese, dried dates, and nut brittle. Drizzle with pure honey and balsamic reduction.
4.    Serve!



Tags: february 2014, salad

Easy 5-step recipes featuring the freshest and most exciting ingredients from Rustan's Supermarket.