Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing

Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing - so many pretty and healthful ingredients and SO much flavor. |

For the last hour I’ve been listening to One Direction.

Excuse me, JAMMING to One Direction.

Why am I susceptible to the music of tween girls? EEEEE. I have a crush on all pop music ever. Cause it would be totally normal that my adult ears would gravitate towards songs with little to no meaning but a get-up-and-move-right-now beat, right? It sounds like candy in my ears.

What kind of a person adoringly eats a beautiful Moroccan Salad with dates, pistachios, bulgur, spinach, oranges, and creamy homemade Cilantro Orange Dressing while listening to a boy band sing about dancing all night? Stop looking at me like that.

I blame the one and only Backstreet Boys for luring me into the pop music scene as a vulnerable 6th grader. If mirrors could talk, mine would have years of awkward middle school hairbrush microphone type stories to tell. Because I Want It Thaaaaat Way. β™« N’Sync had me for a while back in the day, and Justin T, of course, has me still. One Republic can turn my day around in three seconds flat. I have Taylor Swift’s latest album basically memorized, and I may or may not have been at one time a Belieber. Is this getting too personal?

Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing - so many pretty and healthful ingredients and SO much flavor. |

The good news is that I now enjoy some nice acoustic adult-ish covers of my favorite bubblegum pop songs thanks to bands like Boyce Avenue and Kina Grannis. Thank you, mature musicians who appreciate pop music, for supporting my addiction.

Now that we have that important stuff the way, let’s talk salad. I’ve had this salad for 4 out of the last 6 meals. This salad doesn’t mess around, friends.

Sweet, lovey salad. I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. I think I like it better than any other salad I’ve made this year. Even the Kale, Pomegranate, and Wild Rice Salad. I KNOW – I loved that one too but this one just has a zing that has me weak in the knees. And Bjork, too. *fist bump*

Please take a moment to focus on this: Cilantro Orange Dressing. I literally put the whole (peeled) orange in the food processor and zing! Creamy, wonderful, healthy, flavorful dressing. A handful of fresh cilantro or mint or both, and some vinegar and oil to boot, and this wins dressing of the year award.

The bulgur, dates, pistachios, oranges, and spinach are a color + texture power combo that will make your body feel happy. Nutrition, yo.

Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing - so many pretty and healthful ingredients and SO much flavor. |

4.5 from 8 reviews
Moroccan Salad with Orange Cilantro Dressing
Serves: 4
For the salad
  • ½ cup bulgur, uncooked
  • ½ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into sections
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
For the dressing
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
  • 2 tablespoons water to adjust consistency
  1. Cook the bulgur according to package directions, adding the dates and salt just at the end of the cooking time. This helps soften the dates a bit and gives the bulgur good flavor. Cool the bulgur for 20-30 minutes for a cold salad.
  2. In a food processor, combine all the dressing ingredients except the cilantro. Puree until smooth, removing any pieces of orange that can't be broken down any further. Add the cilantro to the smooth mixture, pulse a few times, and set aside.
  3. Toss the cooled bulgur and dates mixture with the other salad ingredients. Drizzle or toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.
I've also used mint in place of cilantro and it's deeelish.


Nutrition Salad

Three days to the weekend. Mwah.

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  1. This is right up my street Lindsay, it looks so fresh. What I also like is that bar a couple of fresh ingredient this is virtually store cupboard.

    p.s. We have tickets to see One Direction next summer. I am super excited, Derek perhaps not quite as much. So if you fancy it…….

  2. Thank you for putting your love of pop music out there! I am under the same spell, and I too attest it to BSB. However, I did just see their concert last year…and got to meet them. Ya, highlight of my life.
    Anyway, that’s unrelated. This salad? Just yes. Moroccan flavors are my fav, therefore my mouth says that this is my fav.

    • Oh my gosh, fun! Were they still cool? Because when they were on that awards show a few months ago… I cringed a little bit. Sometimes it’s better to keep the memory of the glory days pure. :)

  3. Don’t kill me, but I have never heard any of One Directions songs. Currently it is all Christmas music all the time!

    I am loving this salad!! The Moroccan sound so good. I actually just did moroccan two days in a row, but can easily do it again. This salad looks awesome!

  4. Brilliant idea with the dressing! This looks absolutely incredible. And your love of teen pop music = totally acceptable. One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” was stuck in my head alllll day Sunday. Weird. True confession: I may still be a Belieber. Minus all his ridiculous antics. Glad we’re all in this pop-boat together. πŸ˜‰

  5. Kevin’s niece is obsessed with One Direction and I may or may not have DLed their music after she visited this past summer and we blasted it before sitting down to watch the Disney channel.

    This is such a colorful, beautiful salad to make this winter. I am loving dates right now. I like to smear them with peanut butter!!

  6. YOU are adorable! I listen to One Direction too. I love their song “little Things”, I know it’s a slower song but it is so pretty.

    Can’t way to give this salad a try, looks so yummy!

  7. Oh my gooood this looks incredible. I would NEVER have thought of blending an entire orange to make dressing! Such a great idea! Why not get some nutrition in your dressing as well as just oil?! Definitely going to make this :) pinning and sharing!

  8. This post just makes me feel so happy! It’s great to know that there are more respectable ‘adults’ out there who like to “dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light” πŸ˜‰

    I don’t really know a lot about 1D though. Only that ‘Trouble’ is supposed to be about Harry, which really surprised me… (“really? Not John Mayer? It has JM written al over it!”)

    This salad looks absolutely gorgeous by the way. My family is coming over for dinner tomorrow and I’m sure this salad will go perfectly with the chicken vol-au-vents I have been planning to make! And even if it doesn’t, who cares? My mom will love it, so I’m making it!

  9. the back street boys and Nsync will always have my heart. I can not think of times when these songs have basted out of car, me singing the tune, only to be seen by strangers. Embarrassing but worth it

    the combination in this salad is so fresh and wonderful for a quick lunch

  10. I’m with you on everything but Bieber. Can’t go there. But will definitely go for this salad. Vegan even!

  11. Wow, this does sound delicious! And I could use a great salad right about now! :)

  12. This looks so good. Love the picture!

  13. pistachio, dates, and bulgur in a salad – need that now.

  14. LOL “nutrition, yo”. You even sound like someone in a boy band! jk πŸ˜‰
    I love the whole-orange-in-the-processor thing! Definitely trying that one the next time I need me some dressing. Like a smoothie on a salad. Perfect.

  15. This reminds me of the good ole days in Morocco! My mom has a picture of both of us dressed in a headscarf while they tried to sell us millions of scarves in the market! πŸ˜‰

  16. I have such a hard time coming up with good salad recipes. This one looks amazing! My daughter and I have to spend a day at the hospital clinic each month to keep her healthy and I love packing a yummy lunch for us instead of ordering the stuff from the cafeteria. This salad will be in our December lunch box!

  17. Hi! I just started following your blog so I wanted to say hello. I love your recipes and your posts are so fun to read! I especially enjoyed this one πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

  18. I love all the fun flavours in this salad! It’s truly lovely!

  19. I am already totally, head-over-heels in love with this salad, and I haven’t even tasted it yet! But really – I loooove everything about it! Quick, healthy, gorgeously delicioso! If this is what pop music brings out in you, then I same keep right on jammin!!!! πŸ˜€

  20. A wholesome flavorful salad. The back street boys and Nsync has a special place in my heart.

  21. Hey, I just wanted to say you’ve been a huge inspiration and started following you. I found you through your blog income posts, which is very informative. I’m just a poor medical student so this is only a hobby, but it’s fun to see the potential in food blogging. Thanks!

  22. Ha ha. If it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one.

    I love a bit of One Direction myself (they’re so cute, especially Harry, and yes I know them all by name), under the pretext of doing it for my 4yo daughter. Kids are a great excuse for doing all kinds of embarrassing things.

    Dance away, I say :)

    I’m also a bit of a fan of Kina, and have you seen Sam Tsui? And normally I’d run a mile if you played classical music, but I love The Piano Guys – they have so much fun with their music and they’ve managed to make classical music I enjoy listening (and cooking) to.

    P.S. Nice salad! Might just have to try this one.

  23. Holy healthy batman!!! looks soooo good

  24. I love this combination of flavors and the fact that dates are involved, count. me. in!

  25. Yum! I absolutely love citrus-y salad dressings! So healthy and good!

  26. OMG. This looks so yummy! I wish someone could make it for me Right. Now. Because lately, I’m so lazy. I will only eat things as they already are. Coldcuts. Cheese. Chocolate bread. Oops! Did I say that? Hmmm. I need salad + a salad chef in my life. Pronto.

  27. Oh my, this looks delish!

    And there’s no shame in loving boy bands! I secretly still love and listen to Miley Cyrus’ song The Climb. When something’s good, it’s good! Even if it made by an extremely obnoxious young woman.

  28. The “ingredients” picture is so pretty! I think I’ll make the dressing as you recommend, omit the bulgur, and serve it create- your-own style (with the ingredients separated) for my kids. They are going to love the dates!

  29. Looks fresh, healthy and delicious – perfect before all that Christmas food!

  30. I had a lot of fun reading this post. And the comments too! I’m just feeling too old right now. You guys are talking about Backstreet Boys and I was a huge fan of New Kids on the Block. And I’m also “using” my daughter as an excuse to listen to One Direction :)
    Lovely recipe! I’ll definitely try it at home!!

  31. I was so jealous that my cousin saw the Backstreet Boys live a month or so ago at Englands Xfactor. I’m also a big fan of Five…… I have to say, after you’ve gotten me addicted to your brussel sprout salad, this one may not have a chance, but I will check if I can rustle up some spinach at the supermarket here in Munich soon to try this one out.

  32. This salad looks delicious! So incredibly healthy, too. Looooved N’Sync and Backstreets Boys as a teen!!

  33. Lindsay, I love it when you post recipes I can make with my minimal desert-life ingredients. Almost as much as I love teen pop! I may or may not have been listening to Story of My Life on repeat this week, just saying.

    I long for the days of American bacon, but when I see something like this, it almost makes me think good food can be made without it. Definitely going to try this one. Thanks!

  34. This was just lovely! I made this for a potluck and added a little bit of cumin and paprika to the dressing. Thanks!

  35. This is an amazing salad. I made it just as written, and ate all 4 servings myself! I am a huge fan of cilantro, so this dressing made me very happy!

    • This is seriously my favorite salad of the year, so I’m so glad that you liked it too! it’s a little more unusual but always makes me happy when people try these recipes. :)

  36. Just made the dressing! I am so excited to use it on my salads this week – I also bought some pre washed salad (which I normally don’t) – so this week, I’m livin’ on easy street!

    Very tasty- tried some and I fully approve and appreciate this recipe! Thank you, Lindsay!

    PS- I should get some Salt of the Earth to you- let me know if you are interested =)

  37. OOh, I love that you include the nutritional information with your recipe! I only just found your blog, and I love it!

  38. This salad was awesome! I used rice instead of bulgur and thought even cauliflower rice would be nice too to make it paleo. I also served it with Kristen Raw’s Orange Masala Roasted Chicken….sooooo gooood! Thanks for sharing this recipe :-)

    PS I’m taking leftovers to my grandma’s for dinner tomorrow and she’s going to feel so healthy! Lol!

  39. made this last night to rave reviews. i added a fuyu persimmon as well to bring it more into fall and it worked brilliantly. i served it with this: and the balance was phenomenal. i’m wondering about using quinoa instead of bulgur for a more complete entree option…i can’t think of a good protein to put directly into the salad.

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