Salad with Chevre, Dates and Nuts; and more about moi!

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Elizabeth, of blog from OUR kitchen has tagged me!

It’s the name meme!

Hmmmmm….

List one fact, word or tidbit that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your first or middle name. You can theme it to your blog or make it general.

Kitchen.  I almost had my dream kitchen.  It was in the big pink house that we wanted to buy in Ireland.  We went to see it in December and the only room in the entire Edwardian monstrosity that was warm was the kitchen.  The room was about the size of our current house and was heated by a big, bright red Aga; the 2 burner, 4 oven, burns wood kind of Aga.  Off to one side was a huge trestle table that could seat a hundred or so and on the other was a ratty, overstuffed sofa…with a big tabby cat curled up in the corner.  Mittens and socks hung over one of the open oven doors.  I wanted that kitchen!  It did not have an ‘efficient work triangle’; there wasn’t one thing remotely modern or practical about it.  I still want that kitchen.

Anal-retentive.  Well, I’m trying to get over it but I do tend to be a bit, uh, shall we say, um, precise?  And it goes without saying that I’m always right!  I thought I was wrong once…..
I was mistaken….

Tenacious.  Determined.  I don’t give up easily…even though, sometimes, I should….see above!

I think, therefore, I am.Crnaberries_2

Ecstatic!  Look what I found today!!!!! CRANBERRIES!
There was a day when it would take a new piece of jewelry (expensive) or an impromptu getaway somewhere warm that would get me this excited.
Now, it’s CRANBERRIES!  After I found them, tucked a bit out of the way, I went back twice for more bags (5 total) then ran around the store trying to remember the recipe for Cranberry Bread, sauce, etc.  In all fairness (to me) I do love them…And it’s been 11 years!  Now Christmas will really seem like Christmas!

The lovely Truffle of What’s On My Plate (and who’s made a gorgeous Trifle for this week’s WHB) is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by the talented Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Whbtwoyearicon Nuts!

When I was a little girl we went up into the hills and gathered hickory nuts and butternuts in the fall.  My mother would crack big baskets full with a hammer.  All through November she would sit with a bowl on her lap in the evening; picking out nutmeats, getting ready to do the Christmas baking.  I would help…until she made me stop.  It could have been the eating of the nutmeats rather than putting them in the bowl that was the problem

I have my own trees here, 2 English walnut and 2 hazelnut.

I still love nuts.

Fortunately they are incredibly good for us.  ChevredatebeforeThey’re full of manganese, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Walnuts, in particular have an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for our cardiovascular health.  Even though they are high in fat they are a healthy addition to our diets and may even encourage weight loss!

I don’t remember when the first time I had nuts, dates and chevre (goat’s cheese) together.

There is something about the combination that, in my mind, is near perfect.  Right up there with bacon and eggs, tomatoes and basil, lamb and rosemary, foie gras and Sauternes!

And what could be more perfect with it than a bit of walnut bread, fresh from the bakery!

This is a simple salad, perfect for a first course!

Salad with Chevre, Dates and NutsChevredate

3 – 4 oz fresh spinach
3 – 4 oz mache or lamb’s lettuce or other lettuce
aged goat cheese (chevre) 3 oz (100 gr)
10 – 12 dates
2 oz (60gr) walnut halves or hazelnuts, almonds, any mix
bread
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs olive oil – the good stuff

Wash spinach and lettuce if necessary, tear and put into a bowl. Whisk together vinegar and mustard. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly until vinaigrette is thick and creamy.  Add 2 tbs to the greens and toss well to coat – tongs work well.  Taste, add more dressing as desired.  Arrange salad on 2 plates.  Slice goat cheese in rounds or wedges.  Arrange the goat cheese, dates and nuts around the salad.

Be sure to visit Truffle at What’s On My Plate  on Monday for the round-up of all of this week’s wonderful recipes.

Bon Week-end!

ps – not too late to join Seasoned Eatings!
pps – don’t forget to share your embarrassing food moments!

27 thoughts on “Salad with Chevre, Dates and Nuts; and more about moi!”

  1. What wonderful news! Cranberries in your next of the woods. Yes, indeed, winter holidays in the USA seem better with a little cranberry here and there. I am so happy for you and your 5 bags of fun!

  2. That salad looks fantastic. What gorgeous looking goat’s cheese! Good idea to put in dates. (I’ve had pears or raspberrries or dried cranberries in spinach salad but never dates.) I bet a little bit of thinly sliced red onion would be a nice addition too.
    And great list, Katie! I want that kitchen too! (And you were worried about how to deal with the “K”!?) Thanks for playing.
    -Elizabeth

  3. You’re so funny, Katie. Thanks for sharing all that. And I am so envious of your nut trees and that you have fresh cranberries there.

  4. I hope you have fun thinking of what to do with all those cranberries! Love the sound of this combination. Of course anything with Chevre is great with me! Same for nuts, so this is a double winner.

  5. It was a mistake LOL you kill me. The salad looks great I often do dried cranberries, young spinach, walnuts, blue cheese and sweet raspberry vinaigrette. Dates, not my thing.
    Cranberries freeze really well too so go get another 5 bags so you can enjoy them for months. I stock up this time of year and use them for a year.

  6. Lannae, I still can’t believe my luck. Whether or not they’ll ever be availble again is an entirely different story!
    Thank you, Peter…I think… 😉
    Thaks, Jeni, it was a good salad, kind of a ‘winter’ salad.
    Elizabeth, thanks! I always start dreaming about that kitchen when the weather turns cold here. We even looked into having the Aga ‘redone’. (It was very old) Alas, it was not to be…sigh…
    Nora, I’m really enjoying the nut trees – no work and lots of food. I’m so happy with my cranberries – even if they never have them again!
    Lucy, it was a wonderful kitchen…
    Kalyn, it’s rather ironic: they’re such an unexpected treat that I’m almost afraid to decide what to do with them. I’ll get over. it!
    Shayne, I just might do that! There was only one box there and I didn’t want to be too greedy! But next week!
    Lydia, it was the same in Minnesota. It was such an eye-opener after we first moved to realize all the things I had taken for granted. I knew it would be the case on an intellectual level – just not on the ‘real-life’ level.
    And, I’ve really been hooked on it, too. The fact that it’s a bit lower in fat and healthier just adds to it’s appeal!

  7. Ah, this salad sounds like just the thing I need after a couple of days of turkey, dressing and mashed potoatoes, although I am not complaining – it was delicious. Now the planning for Christmas begins! I am so glad you found those cranberries. Amazing what thrills us nowadays. I am with you on the kitchen. I remember cooking on a woodburning stove at my grandmothers in the country – many, many years ago! Ah…

  8. Your salad is making my mouth water! But it was reading yuor acrostic that made me go “ah!” Now I know why I like you so….Anal Retentive – that’s so me! I keep trying to back off…not happening. 🙂

  9. Cute meme.
    I can really relate to your excitement on the cranberries. Last year I went in a few days after Thanksgiving to get a big bag to make juice with and they were all gone. This year I’ve bought 10 bags and squirreled them away in the freezer; makes me feel really rich.
    If you never had cranberry juice from fresh berries, I’ll give you a clue it is 100 times better than anything from a bottle. I have an excellent cranberry coffee cake recipe that I’ll use for some of mine.
    Gorgeous salad! Spinach & goat cheese are totally high on my list.

  10. Deb, I love this time of year – between Thanksgiving and Christmas! So much to do and all fun (usually). I do miss the big turkey dinner…
    Chris, that’s funny…takes one to know one, eh?
    Tanna, I have to go through the 5 bags I bought and make sure they’re okay… What with shipping and all one can’t be sure. Plus the French don’t refrigerate produce…
    That coffee cake sounds good – hint, hint…
    Wendy, you can get them in Scotland?????

  11. Isn’t it funny, the things we take for granted? I have cranberries at any one of 5 grocers nearby, but no nut tree for me!

  12. We’ve been able to get Ocean Spray cranberry juice around here for the past year or two, so maybe the actual berries aren’t far behind. I think I’d be happier about seeing that than some American products that are making inroads!

  13. Thanks, Tanns, got it!
    Kristen, sigh….
    Cindy, I have learned a lot about ‘taking for granted’ in the last 10 years hahaha!
    Betty, no cranberry juice here… but I can get a syrop with cranberry in it…

  14. This is such a tasty yet easy to make salad. I also like to add some red onion to my salads.
    I love cold cranberry juice as a drink but haven’t attempted to use them in other ways. I guess I am missing out so will add it to my list of things to try.
    Wanda
    http://www.only-cookware.com

  15. Spinach, chevre, a nut and a dried fruit, all kicked up with a robust vinaigrette. Ideal!
    I’d almost kill for an Aga. Not only are they built like battleships, but all those funky colors!

  16. Thanks, Margot. I like the combination of dried fruits and nuts with cheese – a winter salad. I never eat it in summer!
    Wanda, red onion would have been good – thanks for the idea. Cranberries are great in lots os stuff…sauce, bread, pie..
    Susan, I want an Aga soooo badly. The one in that house would have been over 10,000 dollars new. (So not in my future) It was going to cost us about 3500 to refurbish it. They take it all apart, dip, clean, paint and put it back together. Big operation in Ireland for Aga re-do’s!

  17. When I first saw the Ocean Spray in the picture, I thought you might be in the US for a vacation — then I scrolled down and saw the French label! Don’t know why it surprises me in the least. Last week at the grocery, they had a sale of three frozen pizzas for $9, and the demostrator said they were made in Italy — sure enough I looked at the label and they were. For $3, each pizza was made in Italy, shipped to Alaska, and somebody in there made a profit. But I digress. The salad sounds delicious — nuts, cheese, and fruit on one plate, I agree with you completely they are one of the world’s perfect combinations. Thanks for posting!

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