Fig, Date, Almond, Sesame and Chocolate Salad

With Orange Rosewater Dressing

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By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

Fresh figs when fully ripe are incredibly sweet, so I prefer to chill them before eating. As I pen this introduction I am on a gulet (a traditional wide-bodied wooden Turkish boat) off the Dalaman coast with 12 others, blissfully doing nothing more than swimming and writing some of this book. In fact, I am on the deck, under the shade of the sail, having Turkish coffee. The figs we ate for breakfast this morning were more like a sweet syrup encased in a fruity flesh than actual fruit. Medjool dates have a similar quality – rich, sweet flesh. This salad owes some of its inspiration to this trip – the flavours here reminiscent of the fabulous spice bazaar in Istanbul. It is also delicious served with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.


  • 6 figs
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 3 tablespoons rosewater
  • 100 ml fresh orange juice
  • handful of toasted flaked almonds
  • 100 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon almond or hazelnut oil


You may prefer to peel the figs, but it’s not necessary. Remove the woody tip from the stem and cut each fig into 6 wedges, then place these in a bowl.

Cut the dates in half lengthways and pull apart. Remove the stone and the woody bit at the end, and add to the figs.

Stir the honey into the rosewater and orange juice until it’s dissolved and pour it over the fruit. Gently mix it all together and place in the fridge for 1–2 hours, mixing once more.

To Serve

Divide the mixed fruit and juices between 4 plates, scatter over the almonds, chocolate and sesame seeds, and drizzle with the nut oil.