I discovered this salad a few years ago in one of my favorite cooking books* and it quickly became a ‘regular’ on the Zambartas’ family table. It is a perfect side dish or starter for a bbq party, but also delicious on its own for a light summer lunch or dinner wit a glass of Rose. The mix of dades and almonds, which give the salad a sweet note, is perfectly balanced by the vinegard and lemon.
The great thing is that all ingredients are readily available in Cyprus, as they are essentials in the local cuisine!
- 1 tbspoon of white vinegar
- half midsize red onion, thinly sliced
- 100gr dades, pits removed, cut in quarters in the length
- 30 gr butter
- 2 tbspoons olive oil
- 2 small pita breads, appr. 100gr, torn apart in pieces of 4 cm
- 75gr whole unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 tspoons of Sumak
- 0.5 tspoon dried chili flakes
- 150 gr young fresh spinach, washed
- 2 tbspoons 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 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 it with a glass of Zambartas Rose!
From: ‘Jerusalem’- Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi ISBN:978-0091943745