Spinach salad with dates, almonds and sumac pita croutons
In honor of Cradle to Career
This is one of a series of three recipes I am showcasing to honor the extraordinary work that friends of mine are doing at Cradle to Career Kenya (C2C). Something New For Dinner and James Publishing's Kids are teaming up to sponsor two C2C students. We will pay for their food, housing and education for a year when C2C collects 1200 likes on their Facebook page. So please help us get the word out on C2C. It just takes one click and you can help two students leave poverty behind.
Another great Ottolenghi salad
This recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi's Jerusalem cookbook. Jerusulem just won another award as the Best Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I picked this receipe to support C2C because the produce and sumac spice is readily available in Kenya, and of course, because the salad is delicious. If you have not tried sumac, you are missing out.
A new twist on a spinach salad
This recipe marries red onions and dates with a little white vinegar. The dates, red onions and spinach are tossed with sumac-dusted almonds and pita chips. I think you will agree, this is another winning Ottolenghi recipe.
- You can buy sumac at middle eastern markets or online. Don't buy a little 2-ounce container, get a larger size. You will fall in love with this lemony condiment and use it like salt.
- Maldon sea salt works very well in this salad. In fact, it works well with almost everything.
- The date & onion mixture and the pita & almond mixture can be prepared in advance and allowed to sit until you are ready to serve. Toss everything together just before serving.
- This salad looks beautiful served in a large platter.
- 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
- ½ pound medjool dates, pitted and sliced lengthwise into quarters
- 2½ T white wine vinegar
- Maldon sea salt
- 3 T unsalted butter, divided
- 4T olive oil, divided
- 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 4 slices pita bread, torn into bite-sized piecs
- 1½ T sumac
- ¾ t crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 ounces (2 packages) baby spinach
- Juice from ½ lemon
- Put onion, dates, vinegar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Use your hands to mix well. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a pan. Add almonds and toast, stirring so they do not burn. When they are nicely browned, remove and set on a paper towel.
- Heat remaining butter and 1 T olive oil in same pan. Add pita pieces and cook until brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Stir to prevent burning. Turn off heat. Add almonds back to pan and season with sumac, red pepper flakes and ¼ t salt.
- Combine spinach with the onions, dates, almonds and pita. Toss with lemon juice and remaining 2 T olive oil.