Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds

Adapted from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi

from Jerusalem:  A Cookbook

Makes a generous meal for one person, or a side for two


1/2 a large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced

(a mandolin is ideal for this if you have one)

3x Medjool dates, cut into quarters, lengthwise (stones discarded)

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

knob of butter

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for dressing

thick slice sourdough bread, cut into cubes

small handful raw almonds, very roughly chopped

1 teaspoon sumac

chilli flakes to taste

2x large handfuls baby spinach leaves

juice of 1/2 lemon

flaky sea salt

Put fennel and dates into a small bowl, add the vinegar and a small pinch of salt, toss well and set aside for about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil and butter in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Add the bread cubes and almonds to the pan and cook until they are crisp and golden brown - stir regularly.  Remove pan from the heat;  add the sumac, chilli flakes and another small pinch of salt.  Mix well and set aside to cool.

Toss the spinach leaves with toasted bread and almonds.  Add the dates and fennel, lemon juice, a generous drizzle of olive oil and another pinch of salt.  Taste to check seasoning, and when it is balanced to your taste, serve immediately.