Monday, January 7, 2013

Jerusalem: Baby Spinach Salad w/ Dates & Almonds


Starting off this week right with a salad.
I am going to concentrate mainly on vegetables this week. There maybe some bacon in the ingredients list, so I won't call it vegetarian.

Don't worry there will be a cake thrown in the mix too.

Here is another wonderful recipe from Ottolenghi's JERUSALEM cookbook.

I had never used the spice SUMAC before. With each recipe in this book, it makes me try new things and I have loved everything so far.

Sumac has sort of a bitter lemon taste, almost like vinegar, kind of strange, but it works with the sweet dates and toasted almonds.

I did everything exactly as the recipe read, except I used whole wheat pita.

We loved this salad.


Baby Spinach Salad w/ Dates & Almonds (adapted from Jerusalem)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 1/2 oz/100g pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons/30g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small pitas (I used whole wheat), roughly torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup/75g whole unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sumac
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 ounces/150g baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt

Put the vinegar, onion, and dates in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix well with your hands. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain away any residual vinegar and discard.


Meanwhile, heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the pita and almonds and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring all of the time, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the heat and mix in the sumac, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside to cool.


When you are ready to serve, toss the spinach leaves with the pita mix in a large mixing bowl. Add the dates and red onion, the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.


Enjoy!

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3 comments:

Content in a Cottage said...

Sounds very interesting. Love the last photo.

I read about Sumac on Wikipedia and learned you can use the spice as a garnish on hummus in case you want to use it again :)

Anonymous said...

I learned about sumac from meals at our favorite Lebanese restaurant - they sprinkle it on many of their salads liberally. It's also nice as a garnish on bean soups. And Nigella Lawson uses it in her wonderful recipe for Baked Potato Salad. http://vipantrywedonthaveablogblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/baked-potato-salad.html?m=0#!/2008/08/baked-potato-salad.html Hint - substitute cilantro for the parsley here, if you love cilantro as much as I do! Hint #2 - Sumac stores well sealed in the freezer

Joanne said...

I think my sumac is getting a little dusty in my pantry. Time to make this salad!