Basically the best salad of all time, this baby spinach salad with dates and almonds has homemade sumac-crusted pita chips, crunchy almonds, and a light lemon vinaigrette. It’s sweet, salty, savory, and spicy!
Allow me to (re)introduce you to my FAVORITE salad!!!
It’s the salad I make for all life occasions. Every holiday I’ve hosted, every birthday party, every time I need a little summin’ summin’ to make a weeknight dinner extra special, every time I need a pick-me-up for lunch.
This is The One.
If I weren’t already spoken for, I’d marry it. Not even an exaggeration.
It was actually originally posted 6 years ago…but that’s what happens when you’ve been blogging for 10 years!!! Even the best of the best recipes get forgotten.
Consider this my attempt to breathe some new life into it.
The first time I made it was in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon attacks. I can distinctly remember sitting at my kitchen table, streaming the news on my cell phone because we didn’t have a TV, as parts of Boston were put on lockdown while police searched for the suspects.
A bowl of this salad in front of me, I ate it obsessively. On edge. Almost involuntarily.
But it brought a whole lot of comfort. Not an easy feat for a salad.
So what is there to love about this salad?
There’s the lightly pickled red onion and dates.
The crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and chewy in the best ways sumac-and-chili crusted pita croutons.
The almond crunch.
The light lemon juice coating.
And ESPECIALLY getting a little bit of all of the above in each bite. Make it once and you’ll see why I keep coming back to it again and again.
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 3.5 oz pitted Medjool dates, thinly sliced
- salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2-3 small pitas (3.5 oz or 100g worth), cut or torn into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tsp sumac
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- In a small bowl, toss the white wine vinegar with the red onion slices and dates.Add in a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, then drain the vinegar and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Add the pita and almonds to the pan and saute until the pitas are crispy and almonds are golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sumac, red pepper flakes, and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside to cool.
- When ready to eat, toss the spinach with the date-onion mixture, the pita-almond mixture, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, and another pinch of salt. Serve immediately.