Serves 6 / History lesson: The date palm may be the world’s oldest food crop, with evidence back to 5000 B.C. The Sumerians, the native people of what is now Iraq, used the palm for food, shelter, and making rope. Cooking lesson: By creatively arranging food on the plate, you can turn an ordinary salad into a decorative masterpiece. Professional chefs and food photographers practice plate presentation. With this recipe, try creating a different design on each plate.

4 mandarin oranges , peeled, sectioned

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

4 tablespoons chopped dates

4 tablespoons crumbled queso cotija or campesino

4 Belgian endives, pulled apart

Pistachios, for garnish

Dressing

4 tablespoons orange juice

6 teaspoons rice vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of ground cardamom

1. Decoratively arrange oranges, onion, dates, cheese, endive, and pistachios on four salad plates.

2. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and spoon over salads.

PER SERVING (with 1 tablespoon dressing): 129 cal, 42% fat cal, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 7mg chol, 2g protein, 18g carb, 2g fiber, 107mg sodium