With Christmas over and my jeans feeling much more snug than they once did it’s time to get eating some salads. But that doesn’t mean a bowl of bland greens that I have to pretend tastes good when really it’s just a bowl of crunchy water.
I love middle eastern flavours. The sharp tangs of lemon and vinegar. The abundant use of fresh herbs and spices. The blend of sweet and savoury. The fact that bread is a friend not a foe.
This is a tweak of an Ottolenghi recipe and really does hit the spot on those cold winter nights. It’s also great at BBQs or done with an egg on top make a tasty brunch dish.
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 100g pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthwise
- 2 small pitas, torn into pieces
- 75g whole unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 150g fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt flakes
- Olive oil
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 any residual vinegar and discard.
Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a medium frying pan. Add the pita and almonds and cook them on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown.
Remove from the heat and mix in the sumac, chilli and pinch of 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 onion, glug of olive oil, lemon juice and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.