This dish works beautifully as a starter on its own or as a side
- 1T white wine vinegar
- ½ medium red onion, finely sliced
- 100g pitted dates, quartered lengthways
- 30g unsalted butter
- 2T olive oil
- 2 small pitas – about 100g, torn into 4cm pieces
- 75g whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 2t sumac
- ½t dried chilli flakes
- 150g baby spinach leaves
- 100g blanched green beans
- 2T lemon juice
- Blanch the fine green beans for 1 min in boiling water and then refresh for 5 mins in iced water, remove once cold and drain dry.
- Slice the dates in chunks and mix with the white wine vinegar and onions.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Tear the pita and add this to a baking tray along with the chopped almonds, chilli flakes, sumac, olive oil and butter. Toast for about 15 mins in the oven, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the spinach leaves on a platter.
- Dress the green beans with olive oil, salt and pepper, and add them to the salad.
- Add the dates, onions, cooled almonds and pita.
- At this stage the salad will sit happily at room temperature for an hour or so.