Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spinach Salad with Fuji Apple and [Dates]

We're still in the what-Ulpia-fed-her-guests series. For an elegant lunch, I served the Spinach Salad with Fuji Apple and [Dates] (page 55) with a French Onion Pie and it got rave reviews from all of my guests (like most everything I made from this book). The salad is simple to put together but looks and tastes sophisticated. The original recipe calls for figs, but seeing as I could strangely find neither fresh nor dried figs, I used dates. They worked beyond well. So well, in fact, that the next time I make this (and there will certainly be a next time), I plan on keeping the dates.

Because I had the pie in the oven and no clue how to roast almonds (and no time to find out); I tossed them into a pan and sprinkled on a touch of olive oil. Super plan; they were incredibly delicious and had my guests coming over into the kitchen to steal some straight from the pan.

The sweetness of the dates paired with the tartness of the Fuji apple and the delectable crunchiness of the roasted almond slivers—not to mention the appearance of my lifelong beau, spinach—make for one stunningly beautiful salad.

I'm running out of adjectives to describe these foods. The English vocabulary lacks the means of conveying all of these glorious tastes I've been trying to blog about. I nearly threw in “umami,” which is what I'd call those almond slivers all nice and roasted, cozied up to the sweet and tart. Anyway, buy the book and make the stuff—including this salad—and then you won't need descriptions.

- - Ulpia, whose lovely grandma chopped the fruit - -


  1. You can definitely toast almonds or most nuts in a pan on a stove (dry, without oil), but your method definitely makes them more savory. If the oven isn't occupied, it can help for more even browning (without hands-on time), but it's really, really easy to go from almost toasted to burnt. Oh -- and this salad looks right up my alley, by the way!

  2. P.S. I did not mean to imply anything with "more even browning" -- 'twas just a generalization. Your nuts look delightful. Ha! :-) And another P.S. is that dates make me happyyyyyyyyyyy.

  3. <3 I didn't misunderstand your "more even browning," no worries! ;D Some of the nuts came out darker than others, but none tasted burnt. Thanks for the roasting info, too!

    And the dates were highly appreciated, my mom and our friend from Boston are real date-junkies, so even the unused dates quickly disappeared, or I would've put them to use in some raw dessert. Still have Ani's dessert book to go through. Daily the books multiply. ;P

  4. Phew! I didn't want to come off as some nut know-it-all. You can interpret *that* however you want! I just saw a "recipe" that said to take the pit out of a date and replace it with an almond -- neat!

  5. I'm all about learning from nut know-it-alls anyway, so know & share away!

    That reminds me of those dates with walnut halves stuck into them.


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