Recipe: Ottolenghi's baby spinach salad with dates and almonds
This recipe is from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem book which I've been using lots this summer, and goes great as a side to a meat dish or served on it's own.
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 medium red onion
100g pitted medjool dates, quartered lengthways
30g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small pittas, torn in pieces
75g whole almonds
2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
150g spinach leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Slice red onion thinly and mix with dates and vinegar in a bowl. Add pinch of salt, mix well and marinade for 20 mins.
2. Heat the butter and half the olive oil in a pan . Add the pitta and almonds and cook at a medium heat for 4-6 mins until bread is golden brown and crunchy. Remove from heat and add chilli flakes, sumac and 1/4 tsp of salt (I've never been able to get sumac for this recipe so have skipped). Leave aside to cool.
3. When you are ready to serve, wash and dry spinach leaves. Best to dry them in a salad spinner or a tea towel if you don't have one. If the leaves are wet the dressing won't coat the leaves. Add leaves to a large bowl, and mix through the onion and dates and pitta bread mix. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.