This is so simple, but it shows how an assembly of great ingredients can work so well together.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (6 votes)

I recall overhearing this conversation between my eldest daughter and my youngest as the two of them were snacking in the kitchen after school. For me, it was a priceless and very sweet little educational exchange about food.

‘You know that’s mould don’t you?’ ‘No, it’s not!’ ‘What the hell, that’s mould; I can’t believe you don’t know that!’ ‘It’s just blue cheese.’ ‘No, it’s mould!’ ‘Really?’ ‘Yes...! ‘Oh...’

The funny thing was that the youngest one really loved blue cheese, but she seemed to lose interest after this. Still, I think this fruity salad, with sticky dates and crunchy pumpkin seeds might very well bring her round again.


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 150 g (5½ oz) blue cheese
  • 6–8 Medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp runny honey
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add half the olive oil, then the onion. Cook the onion, turning regularly, until soft and caramelized. Add half the thyme leaves to the onions along with the pumpkin seeds. Toss the onion, pumpkin seeds and thyme together and cook for a further 1 minute, then turn off the heat.

Crumble the cheese over two plates, dividing it equally between them, then do the same with the chopped dates. Divide the warm onion mixture between the two plates, then drizzle over the honey. Roughly tumble each salad together.

In a small bowl, make a dressing by combining the remaining olive oil with the cider vinegar. Season the dressing with salt and pepper, then drizzle it over the two salad servings, scatter over the remaining thyme leaves, and serve immediately. 


Recipe from Gather by Gill Meller (Hardie Grant Books, hb, RRP $49.95). Photography: © Andrew Montgomery. Read our interview with Gill here.