Dates and Baby Spinach Salad With Almonds and Sumac | One Delicious Salad!

What defines a salad? There are salads of raw ingredients and salads of cooked ingredients, cold salads and warm salads, salads of vegetables and salads with fruit, and salads with dried fruits. There are salads without fruit and without vegetables. There are dressings with oil and vinegar, or miso, pomegranate molasses or tahini. There are salads without dressings. Salads can be tossed, mixed, layered and composed. How to define a salad!

The word salad comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata (salty), from sal (salt). In English, the word first appears as salad or sallet in the 14th century. Salt is associated with salad because vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings during Roman times.

But as soon as we try to create some rules that categorically define a salad, we find exceptions. Despite the confusion, we can all recognise a salad when we see one. There is no confusing it with soup, or pudding, or a pasta dish.

Salads are also evident in most cuisines, even India has quite a few salads even though they are not well represented in restaurants or cookbooks. Today we travel to Israel via Ottolenghi’s book Jerusalem. The salad is composed of marinated dates, crispy flatbread, toasted nuts, and baby spinach. It does sour via lemon juice, vinegar and sumac, hot with chilli, pungent with onion and sweet with the dates.

Sumac, a tart, deep-red spice, is a key ingredient for this recipe – buy yours from a Middle Eastern shop, it is quite different to brands available via the local supermarket. The pita and almonds in the recipe are cooked for a few minutes on the stove to crisp up, but that is the only heat required. The rest is easy.

It is Ottolenghi Cook the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking mainly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Spinach Stem Salad with Sultanas and Pinenuts, Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse all of our Spinach Salads and all of our Israeli dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Jerusalem are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through his book Plenty More. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Glass Noodles with Spinach

Glass Noodles are wonderful – silky, soft and translucent, they are great in salads, soups and stir fries. Other names for these noodles include Cellophane Noodles, Chinese Rice Vermicelli and Chinese Vermicelli. They don’t take much to prepare – stiff like wire when you buy them, they soften with a short soak in hot water, and within about 5 minutes they are ready to toss with other ingredients. But don’t mix them up with Indian rice Vermicelli, that is vermicelli of a different type.

This salad takes some fresh, younger spinach and wilts it with sesame oil before tossing with the glass noodles. You can sprinkle with some sesame seeds to complete the dish.

Similar dishes include Persian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad, Indian Vermicelli Payasam, and Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji.

Browse all of our Spinach dishes, and all of our Vermicelli dishes. Our Asian dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipe collection.

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Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad

For a change, this is a cooked salad. Mushrooms are sautéed with shallots, and then spinach is wilted in their heat. Blue cheese is added and it softens and melts, forming a dressing for the salad. It is an incredibly delicious salad that can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Use a good quality blue cheese for the best results.

This is another salad from the Bittman Salads, and I am on a journey to make all of the vegetarian ones (and adapt as many of the non-vegetarian ones that I can). Focusing on salads in the warmer weather months has changed my diet considerably, and for the better. I encourage you to make a salad per day – often it can form the basis for your packed lunch (sometimes your whole lunch), or have it as a salad course at dinner time. In this salad, we were fortunate enough to pick the spinach from the garden.

Try some other Salads – for example, Pomegranate Salad with Green Coriander and Lime, Nashi Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Mustard Dressing, Grilled Mushroom and Red Onion Salad, and Tomato and Peach Salad.

Are you looking for other Mushroom dishes? Try Mushroom Salad with Parmesan, Adzuki Beans with Red or Brown Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms, Mushroom Curry, or Mushrooms for Toast.

Have a look at our Bittman Salads, and explore all of Salad recipes. Browse all of the Mushroom dishes, or simply take some time to explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta

A beautiful tangy salad with preserved lemons, which pair well with meltingly soft chickpeas. Used either canned or home-cooked chickpeas.

Salads make up an enormous part of our diet fro Spring to Autumn, adding a huge amount of variety and health benefits. It also adds amazing tastes and textures to the food that we eat daily. We recommend it highly. A salad a day keeps illness at bay 🙂 . Focusing on making a salad per day will change your life.

Want to try some similar salads? Try Cauliflower, Papaya and Curried Chickpea Salad, Green Tomato Salsa with Green Coriander and Chilli, and Rocket and Penne Salad.

Are you looking for other Chickpea recipes? Try Chickpeas with Beetroot Greens and Chilli, Chickpea and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Channa Chaat.

You can also explore all of our Salads here, or just the Bittman Salads here. Browse our Chickpea dishes. Or simply spend some time checking out our Early Autumn dishes.

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Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts

The delight of spinach stems in a special salad.

Spinach stems are definitely underrated and underused. They are much less acidic than spinach leaves so they have that distinctive spinach flavor without the harshness. Their taste is delicate, and you miss that if you simply throw the stems away. This salad takes advantage of the beauty of the stems, sweetens them with raisins and adds crunch with pinenuts.

Are you looking for other Spinach and Spinach Stem recipes? Try Buttery Spinach Stems, Glass Noodles with Spinach, Spinach Thoran, and Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach.

Browse our Spinach recipes, and our Salad recipes. Find out how to use Spinach Stems. We have a collection of Bittman Salads here. Or be inspired by our Late Summer recipes.

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Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts

A wonderful salad

A spinachy and great dish shared recently with a friend was a beautiful orzo salad. In this recipe, the orzo we are using is a Greek, rice-shaped pasta, similar to the Italian Risoni. Don’t confuse it with the Italian orzo, which is barley.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Beautiful Buttered Orzo, Rice and Orzo, and  Elegant Orzo Salad.

You might like to browse our other Salad recipes, and Spinach Salads. Our Pasta recipes are here. And explore the Spinach recipes. Alternatively take some time to enjoy our Late Summer dishes.

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Spinach Pachadi | Palak Pachadi | Spinach in Yoghurt

Last night I cooked a gorgeous spinach dish, a Pachadi. It is a gorgeous dish that can be used as a side dish or goes just as well over rice, on its own or with a yellow dal. It is a purée, so it would also go well drizzled over some chunks of pan-fried tofu, fresh made paneer or some roasted or pan-sautéed chunks of potato. With some crispy flatbreads. With a green salad of goodness.

Similar recipes include Asparagus Raita, Boondhi Pachadi, Carrot Sambol, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Please also browse our Pachadi recipes, and our Spinach recipes. You might like to read up on Indian Essentials and explore our Indian recipes. Or take some time to check out our Late Spring collection of dishes.

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