For the last few days of vacation, The Wife repeated the phrase “When we get back home, I’m getting back on the food wagon” like it was a chant.
The food wagon is her way of saying that she wants to return to healthier eating. Our trips are a buffet of snacks and cookies. For instance, I made a batch of taco dip that barely lasted three hours. We averaged a loaf of bread, a two bags of (potato or tortilla) chips and a dozen chocolate chip cookies a day. It was stunning.
Anyhow, The Wife wanted to start Sunday with our first dinner home. I got the proclamation of “we’re having salad for dinner” somewhere along Delaware’s Route 1 expressway. That was derailed when The In-Laws joined us for dinner/distracted The Kid while we unpacked. That night we had pizza. Good, greasy pizza.
Soooooooooooo, Monday was the kickoff of the food wagon. And salad she got.
WHAT WORKED: The original recipe called for sliced almonds and Middle Eastern spices. I went with the remainder of a jar of dukkah that was on my shelf. The blend of ground nuts, seeds and spices made for an easy substitute.
WHAT DIDN’T: The dates. I was hoping that they would be a little firmer than the batch I bought at Wegmans. I shouldn’t complain after the grocery atrocities I was forced to undergo in Rehoboth Beach. Safeway. Food Lion. Something called Super Fresh. I should just shut my mouth and be content. Actually, I should have gone to one of the Mediterranean groceries in town.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is sweet. Why so much sugar?” Little did she know that it was all natural sugar from the dates.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: It could. I need more dukkah and, well, good dates.
Middle Eastern Spinach Salad
Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
- 3 1/2 oz pitted Medjool dates, sliced
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 6-7 oz. spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup dukkah OR 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped and 1 tbsp. Za’atar or sumac
- Freshly squeezed juice of one large lemon
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
Place red onion, dates and vinegar in a plastic container with a lid. Secure the lid, shake the container and put aside.
Place spinach leaves, dukkah (or almonds and spices) into a salad bowl. Toss. Spoon red onion and date mixture on the salad. Squeeze lemon juice over the salad and toss. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the salad and toss one final time. Serve with warm pita.