Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds
Pitas are allotted the shortest of shelf lives in Jerusalem. Ideally, you’d eat them within a couple of hours of baking. Crunchy pita croutons make good use of leftover pita. We use them for soups and scatter them over salads and other mezzes. They will keep for at least a week in an airtight container. Serve this salad as a starter; its sharp freshness really whets the appetite.
|1 tbsp||white wine vinegar|
|½||medium red onion, thinly sliced|
|100g||pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthways|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|2||small pitas, about 100g, roughly torn into 4cm pieces|
|75g||whole unsalted almonds, roughly chopped|
|½ tsp||chilli flakes|
|150g||baby spinach leaves, washed|
|2 tbsp||lemon juice|
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 the butter and half the olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add the pita and almonds and cook them on a medium heat for 4–6 minutes, stirring all the time, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the heat and mix in the sumac, chilli and ¼ teaspoon 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 red onion, remaining olive oil, lemon juice and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.