Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dates

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SO. I made the tastiest salad. It was (again) inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, but this came out of his book Jerusalem. I hit a gold mine in that my roommate bought both Plenty and Jerusalem for himself… so I’m indulging and making ALL the food.

Since this salad has quite a strong flavour, it is worth having on it’s own or as a starter to another dish. Another thing, I used a spice called za’atar. It’s a middle eastern spice consisting of thyme, sesame seeds, oregano, sumac (or lemon zest) and salt. If you don’t have any za’atar mix you can make your own by combining those ingredients (it’s a fairly chunky spice mix). A final note, I had a day old bagel I ripped up and cooked with the almonds but I imagine ripped up pita or naan would work just as well.

SPINACH SALAD WITH ALMONDS AND DATES (serves 2)

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 medium red onion (or shallot), thinly sliced
  • 4 medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 bagel, sliced in half then ripped into medium sized chunks (about 1 inch square)
  • 1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon za’atar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt

Method:

In a small bowl, mix the onions and the dates with the vinegars and a pinch of salt. Set aside and let marinade for 20 minutes.

In a medium sauce pan, heat the grapeseed oil on medium heat. Once the oil heats up, add the bagel (or pita) bits and almonds and cook for 6 minutes (or until the bread is golden and crispy/crunchy), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the za’atar, chile flakes and a large pinch of salt.

Once the bagel bits and almonds are cool, toss with the spinach in a large bowl. Add the dates and onions and a drizzle of olive oil and the lemon juice. Mix well and serve immediately.

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I say “serve immediately” because that’s when the bagel is still nice and crunchy. However, I let a portion of it sit in the fridge overnight to have for the next day’s lunch and the flavours had mingled SO wonderfully. But of course letting it sit overnight meant that the bagel was no longer crispy or crunchy but became chewy. IT WAS STILL PHENOMENAL.

 

 

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