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Author Notes: An amazing fragrance and flavor enhances tea-soaked dates in this dish. Then after the steep you use the liquid to enhance the winterberry allowing the dates to linger throughout. —Maria Reina
Serves 4 to 6
- 12 Medjool dates
- 1 Harney & Sons Paris tea sachet
- 1 cup dry winter wheat berry
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale
- 1 lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- Place the dates and Paris tea bag in a 2 cup size container and pour boiling water over to measure up to the line. Set aside to steep for 1 hour.
- Place the wheat berries in a bowl and cover with boiling water by 2” above the berries. Set aside for 1 hour.
- While you are waiting for things to soak you can work on some of the other ingredients: 1) Toast the walnuts for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. When cool roughly chop. 2) Peel and grate the ginger with a microplane. You should end up with 2 teaspoons. 3) Remove the stem from the kale and roughly chop, you should end up with 3-4 handfuls. 4) Zest the lemon into a small mixing bowl along with the juice. You should have about ¼ cup. Reserve the lemon halves. Add ¼ cup of olive oil, the 2 teaspoons of ginger and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Wisk to combine, taste for seasoning and set aside.
- Remove the dates to a plate to dry a little. Squeeze the tea bag into the liquid and discard. Reserve the liquid. Gently remove the seed and slice each into 4 long pieces. Set aside.
- Drain the wheat berries and place in a small pot. Cover with warm water by 2” and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Lower the heat to a low boil and cook for 15-25 minutes. Test the wheatberries, they should be chewy but not hard. When they are done to your liking drain and place in a small bowl. Pour the date-tea liquid over them and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. The warm grains will take in the fragrant date-soaked tea liquid.
- Take the lemon halves and place in another small bowl and fill with cool water. Peel the apple and cut into ¼” cubes. Place in the bowl with the lemon halves. Swish around and give the lemon halves a few squeezes to release the juice. That will be keep the apple form turing brown.
- In a large mixing bowl add the kale and half of the dressing. Massage it into the kale and let it sit for 10 minutes. Drain the wheat berries and add to the kale and mix in the remaining dressing. Drain the apple and mix in to the wheatberry-kale bowl. Add the walnuts and dates tossing gently to combine it all. You can eat it right away or make this ahead and place in the fridge. The longer it sits the more the flavors will come together.
- Cook’s notes: Harney & Sons tea can be found on Amazon and at a variety of grocery stores. I used Paris because it’s one that I really like. It’s a black tea with caramel and vanilla flavors and a hint of bergamot. Winter wheat berries can be found easily in the bulk bin at Whole Foods.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dates