Orange and date salad with pistachio yoghurt and mint

Inspired by an Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine recipe, I decided this salad would be a great accompaniment to the Christmas Roast Turkey with my traditional Christmas Turkey Stuffing.

I didn’t have any muslin cloth so I used a new piece of Chux superwipes (!!) with the holes in it to “hang” the yoghurt.

For extra Christmassy flavour I added a few cloves to the syrup mixture and then freshened up the salad by adding fresh mint leaves. It was delicious and simple despite requiring a bit of prep the night before.

Prep time: 8 hours/overnight


240g Greek-style yoghurt

50g brown sugar

Piece of muslin or new piece of Chux superwipe cloth

1 cup caster sugar

1.5 cups water

1 cinnamon quill

3 cloves

2 pieces each lemon and orange peel, removed with a peeler

1 tsp rosewater

2 oranges, thinly sliced

4 dates, pitted and sliced into strips

1/2 cup pistachio kernels

Handful of fresh mint leaves


1. Line a small sieve with muslin or Chux superwipe and place over a deep bowl.

2. Layer a quarter of the the yoghurt alternating with a quarter of the brown sugar in the cloth, repeating until all he yoghurt and brown sugar is used up.

3. Tie the cloth tightly with string or an elastic band, and place yoghurt mixture in fridge for at least 8 hours. The liquid will come out of the yoghurt and collect in the bowl below.

4. Place cinammon quill, cloves, orange and lemon peel, sugar and water in a pot, bring to the boil stirring until sugar dissolves then simmer for 10 minutes until a syrup forms, be careful not to caramelise.

5. Allow syrup to cool slightly then add rosewater and mix through, then let syrup cool completely.

6. Carefully slice peel of oranges and pith off, then slice oranges thinly.

7. Deseed the dates and slice into slithers.

8. Place oranges in a single layer in a flat dish, then sprinkle with the dates and pour over syrup and place in fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

9. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Peel pistachios and roast in oven for 5 minutes or until just turning brown, be careful not to burn.

10. Keep some pistachios aside whole to sprinkle over the salad for added texture. Cool pistachios completely then crush in a mortar and pestle or grind roughly in a spice/coffee grinder. You want a slightly rough mixture not a fine powder.

11. Take yoghurt from fridge and roll into small balls, then roll in pistachio mixture. The yoghurt will have lost a lot of moisture and be of a soft cheese consistency which makes this easy to do.

12. Place oranges and dates on a serving platter, discarding the syrup. Scatter with pistachio yoghurt balls, sprinkle over whole pistachios and a handful of torn mint leaves.

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Born in South Africa, of Indian heritage. My family moved to Australia in the early 80's. I have a busy professional career as the CEO of a Healthcare Foundation based in Sydney. I love cooking, learning to cook, eating and travel. My blog is written in the spirit of sharing my foodie adventures.

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