Spring Greens with Feta and Dates; a cormorant

A long time ago, when I used to travel (unlike this year) I was coming back to Europe on KLM, business class (loved upgrades!). As was proper, after the main course I was served a small plate of cheese. In this case it happened to be goat cheese and it was garnished with 2 dates.

I was not a fan of dried fruit of any sort and had never had a date.

I nibbled….

I had some cheese….

I liked it.

The combination of sweet dates with strong cheese has remained a favorite. I even like dates on their own now.

For the record, I will now eat raisins, prunes and dates. I had a dried apricot once and, I think, a dried cranberry.

Dates and cheese I will now make an effort for.

Yes, I know I am eating a salad that is out of season and not from my own garden. I’m supporting my local greenhouse farmers, so there.

And I really needed some greens.

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Spring Greens with Feta and Dates

Crisp shallots, sweet dates, and salty feta adorn this early spring salad. 

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3oz (90gr) fresh spring greens
  • 2oz (60gr) feta cheese
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 810 dates, pitted
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Sherry Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbs salad olive oil 

Instructions

  • Sauté shallots in oil over medium-low heat until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. 
  • Make vinaigrette in a large bowl:
  • Put mustard, vinegar in the bowl and whisk.
  • Slowly whisk in oil.
  • Prepare greens, add to vinaigrette, and gently toss.
  • Arrange salad on 2 plates.
  • Top with shallots, dates, and feta.

Notes

I had a mix of spinach, rocket, and lamb’s lettuce. Use whatever is available.
You can use your favorite vinegar in place of the sherry vinegar.

Keywords: spring salad, dates, feta cheese

Spring Greens with Dates and Feta

The feta that I get is cubed, in an herbed oil, so it keeps well and is nicely flavored. It costs a bit more than a regular block but it lasts a long time and there’s no waste.

I was gazing out of the kitchen window the other morning. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. It’s either raining or wet and muddy from having just rained, so we’re not doing much outside.

I noticed something odd sitting on the pump in the pond. The pump, which is bright blue, floats so it’s always at the right water level for the watering system.

I grabbed the binoculars for a closer look.

It was a cormorant.

I saw a pair of them here last year. This is the first I’ve seen this season. I have no idea why these birds sit with their wings spread, but this one was perched on the pump for over an hour, (at least) with his wings spread. He eventually flew off.

I later saw 2 mallards swimming around.

Is spring on its way?

6 thoughts on “Spring Greens with Feta and Dates; a cormorant”

  1. I wish spring was on the way but it was zero when I got up this morning. Yep, zero. It’s hovered around 5 for the past several days but this was the coldest yet. I’ve taken to putting timothy hay out for the wild bunnies because we also have about 6 inches of snow now.

    I’ve never seen a cormorant. Must have been spectacular. I wonder if they return to the same area every year. Do they mate for life? I’ll have to look into that, just because 🙂

    • We must be on the migratory path as I only see them in the spring.
      We’ve had the most rain in 4 decades this winter – plus it’s been cold. My quince are just starting rather than finishing and there is no sign of the plum blossoms yet. Bizarre weather and a pandemic – why not?

  2. Cormorants are probably migrating at the moment, so you’ve had one make a stopover. They sit with their wings outstretched to dry their feathers, maybe to help digest their food — nobody’s quite sure.

    • Fascinating birds. I’m guessing that means that there is life in the pond, now. The farmer said that eventually, the birds bring in life – unintentionally, of course. It’s been there about 5 years..

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