A bright salad filled with the sweet notes of dates and golden raisins, crunchy hazelnuts, and toasted pita. Sumac and shichimi togarashi give the salad an extra flavor boost!
This has been my schedule the last week:
- wake up from my slumber and clamber out of bed ungracefully.
- make a cup of tea. eat.
- complete requisite blogging duties.
- photograph food. sneak in many bites of said food.
- more blogging.
Between Christmas shopping, preparing for a 2.5 week trip, planning blog posts ahead, and finishing up random projects, things have been messy around here, literally and figuratively. This always happens to me right before a big trip: work until the last minute and shove everything in a suit case. I just hope I don’t leave out anyone’s Christmas present! I can’t wait to relax and just drink cups of tea all day long. That, and a few biscuits. (P.S. Follow me on Instagram to see scenes from my trip!)
As you can tell with all the recipes on the blog lately, Christmas, chocolate, and peppermint has been in full swing. The pants are beginning to feel a bit snug. Yes, we’re in the heart of the holiday season. So I decided to go ahead and shake up this chocolate-peppermint-gingerbread routine and make myself a much needed nutritious salad. Life is all about balance: chocolate cookies on one hand, spinach on the other.
So, I whipped up a salad, but not just any salad—it’s an Ottolenghi salad. I finally got myself a copy of Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (I don’t know why that took so long), and I am OBSESSED with it. The colors of every photographed dish look wonderful, and this cookbook is making me want to travel to the Middle East. Maybe Istanbul soon? Flipping through Jerusalem, the Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds recipe popped right out to me. It’s a simple, perfectly dressed spinach salad with toasted pita and almonds. Toasted pita with sumac in a salad?! How can I refuse?
When I made the salad, I changed the recipe a few ways: I swapped the almonds for hazelnuts, added plump golden raisins and roasted golden beets, and toasted the pita and nuts with Japanese seven-spice (shichimi togarashi).
The addition of shichimi togarashi might look like it’s coming out of left field, but according to this post, shichimi togarashi and shawarma is going to be the next big thing in 2015. I wanted to see how that Japanese spice worked with Middle Eastern flavors, so I sprinkled it onto the pita and hazelnuts. Oh my. I could have easily wolfed down the entire batch of pita and nuts. The acidity of the sumac pairs so well with the flavored spice blend. Just try it!
Need more inspiration for salads?
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