I’d like to introduce you to my first food contributor to LifestyleTea, Elle Woods! I mention food frequently in my blog posts.. but never any recipes! Sure enough, when I asked for contributors Elle came to the rescue and will now be featured here on my blog sharing her love for food and cooking. The holiday season means summer for us here in New Zealand and Elle has two salads to share that are healthy, colourful and show off summer’s flavours perfectly.
Take it away, Elle..
Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds- Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi (serves 4)
This is currently my favourite salad, I would quite happily eat this salad a few nights of the week. It is the perfect combination of spice, rich fruity sweetness and tart onions. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, both residents of Jerusalem revisit the food of their childhood in Jerusalem.
Yotam’s first book Plenty, is filled with delicious vegetarian food is a must for any vegetarian or anyone thinking of becoming a vegetarian.
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
100g pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthways
30g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 small pita breads, roughly torn
75g whole almonds
2 tablespoons of sumac
½ teaspoon of chilli flakes
150g baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
1. 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.
2. Meanwhile heat the butter and half the olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add the pita and almonds, cook them on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes, until pita is crunchy and golden brown. (If your pita looks soggy, just turn off your pan and leave it to crisp up)
3. Mix sumac, chilli and ¼ teaspoon of salt into pita and almond mix,
4. Toss 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. Serve immediately.
(If you want to avoid the butter, you could toast your pita bread and mix the sumac and chilli flakes with olive oil and lemon juice as a dressing.)
The next salad you can try this summer..
(goes well with middle eastern spiced dishes, chicken, fish and lamb)
½ a pomegranate
a bunch of nasturtiums and nasturtium flowers (an edible wild plant)
a bunch of baby cos lettuce
1 red onion
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds/poppy seeds
a handful of coriander
1 tablespoon of olive oil
the juice of two lemon
1. Wash your nasturtiums and flowers, pat gently dry with a paper towel. Pluck off stems.
2.Dice your red onion (if you want it to be sweeter, place in 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar)
3. Segment oranges and peel your pomegranate (discard all white pith), pluck out red seeds.
4. Toast sesame seeds on a low to medium heat, sesame seeds are very easy to burn due to their high oil content.
5. Tear your bunch of coriander and layer with all ingredients except avocado on a plate. Toss in olive oil and one lemon.
6. Lastly cut your avocado into large cubes, cover with lemon juice and gently fold through.
Hope you have enjoyed Elle’s first food post on Lifestyletea! Keep an eye out for more delicious recipes xx
A little blurb on Elle Woods: 21, currently applying for my MA in Religious Studies at Victoria University. In the future I would love to work in a university institute or as a human rights and conflict resolutionist with the United Nations. I love reading, my cats, cooking, ballet and weekly visits the florist.