Friday, November 27, 2009

Dried Fruit Salad recipe from How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis

Dried Fruit Salad with Thyme-Honey Vinaigrette
(Salata Me Aproxiramena Frouta Kai Lodoxydo Me Thymarisio Meli)

from How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis

Serves 6

This is not a traditional Greek salad, but I love the interplay between the sweet fruits and the tart vinaigrette. Greece has a great tradition of fruit served with cheeses, and this salad plays right into this palate-tantalizing combination. I've chosen dried fruits to show their versatility and to create a salad that's wonderful during the cooler months. Of note also is the variety of fruit being used. Although not all are necessary, each provides its own unique flavor and texture, which allows the salad to evolve with each bite.

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 clove shallot, thickly sliced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 sprig picked thyme

1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano

1 teaspoon honey, preferably thyme honey

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup canola oil

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

3/4 cup tart dried cherries

12 plump, dried apricots, slivered

6 dried pears, slivered lengthwise

6 dried figs, slivered

9 dates, slivered lengthwise

16 ounces baby arugula leaves

6 hearts frisee, coarsely chopped

5 ounces manouri cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 10 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegars, garlic, shallot, mustard, thyme, oregano and honey. Process until smooth. With motor running, slowly pour in the extra-virgin olive oil, followed by the blended oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

In a large serving bowl, combine all the dried fruits, arugula, and the frisee. Toss until lightly coated with the vinaigrette. Scatter the toasted almonds and manouri on top and grind a generous amount of cracked pepper over all.

Bookfool's notes on how we altered this recipe:

Frisee - unavailable here. We skipped this one and for the manouri (a semi-soft white cheese used most often in savory pastry dishes and desserts -- also unavailable) we substituted mozzarella because it's mild. That would probably make the chef blanch. I found the vinaigrette was so strong I couldn't bear to walk within 6 feet of it and husband didn't care for it, so we eat the salad dry. It's great dry, trust me. There are very few tart foods that I can handle, although my husband generally likes a combination of sweet and sour, so it's not surprising that the vinaigrette didn't work for me.



  1. Yum this looks so good! :)

  2. Sheila,

    My husband and I gobble this stuff like dessert. It's great.

  3. I'm anxious to try this, although I think I'll skip the dates and figs. Maybe I can find something else to throw into the mix. Where do you find dried pears? And cherries? I've seen dried apricots, but not the others. I might mess around with that dressing a bit, too. I looked up frisee and see that it's chicory. I wonder if I can find it here. I've seen it in some of those pre-packaged salad bags.

  4. Les,

    I forgot to mention we didn't use dried pears, although I know I've eaten them in the past. We're going to look for them, next time we're at Fresh Foods in Madison (we forgot, this weekend). They have quite an extensive dried-fruit section and I'm guessing that's where I've gotten them, in the past. Dried cherries are available on the baking aisle of a grocery store, usually, where they keep raisins and nuts. I found frisee at Fresh Foods, this weekend, but decided not to grab any because huz is leaving today; not likely we'll be eating that salad till he returns. There was no manouri cheese.

  5. And just where is he off to again?! ;)

  6. Les,

    This time, DC. I don't mind DC because he willingly drops by the L'Occitane store when he's there and I'm almost out of my favorite face soap (although I can't find it on their website, so I'm a bit worried that they've ditched it).

  7. Love this recipe! The' taste is wonderful ;).


Thank you for visiting my blog! I use comment moderation because apparently my blog is a spam magnet. Don't worry. If you're not a robot, your comment will eventually show up and I will respond, with a few exceptions. If a comment smacks of advertising, contains a dubious link or is offensive, it will be deleted. I love to hear from real people! I'm a really chatty gal and I love your comments!