Posts Tagged ‘Dates’

A great starter dish from Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour. The sun came out so we could sit outside for a relaxed Saturday lunch, and this takes very little time to put together which was perfect.

Wine Suggestion: The much under-rated varietal, Chenin Blanc is our pick. A dry version like Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs and it’s stonefruit and apple flavours over a flinty core stands up to the baked halloumi and bacon with aplomb.

Halloumi, bacon, date & apple salad – serves 4 as a starter

  • 250g block of halloumi
  • 8 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 4 large Medjool dates, pitted and halved


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp water
  • a small bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced

Preheat the oven to 240C.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Cut the block of halloumi in half lengthways, then cut each half into 4 rectangular fingers.

Lay a piece of bacon on a board, put a piece of halloumi at the end and top with half a date, then roll up tightly to form a neat bundle. Repeat to make 8 rolls.

Roast the halloumi in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the bacon is very crispy.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, cinnimon and water into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Spread the salad leaves over a platter, drizzle with the dressing and scatter over the apple slices.

Put the hot halloumi and bacon rolls on top of the salad leaves and serve.

(Original recipe from Persian Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour, Aster, 2022.)


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We made this by accident having planned to do a different tagine from a magazine, only to realised that it required a slow-cooker, so this was a last-minute substitute. It is really and truly delicious, so you must try making this dish at some stage. You can serve with plain couscous but it’s particularly good with this. If chickpeas don’t float your boat as a main course for Sunday lunch both dishes would be excellent with some roast lamb. 

Wine Suggestion: this is great with a juicy, brambly Grenache, or a blend with this in it. We had the joyful Les Dissidents “le Paria” made by Domaine Ventenac from 100% Grenache and made without sulphur; fresh, juicy and minerally.

Tomato, date & chickpea tagine – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 120g pitted dates, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of coriander, leaves roughly chopped and stalks reserved
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips of lemon zest and the juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry for 8-10 minutes, until soft. 

Whizz half the tomatoes with half of the dates, then add the rest of the tomatoes to the mixture and set aside. 

Add the garlic, coriander stalks and all of the spices to the cooked onions, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato mixture, the lemon zest and 100ml of water, season well with salt and pepper, then cook for 10 minutes or until rich and thickened. 

Meanwhile, make the seasoned yoghurt. Mix the yoghurt with the lemon juice and a good pinch of salt in a bowl, then set aside. 

Stir the chickpeas and the rest of the dates into the tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes to heat through. Add the lemon juice and check the seasoning. Discard the pieces of lemon zest, then remove the dish from the heat. 

Stir in the coriander leaves and serve with some seasoned yoghurt and golden couscous

(Original recipe from New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thompson, Quadrille, 2019.)

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