Seedy Spinach Salad
Obviously this is not seedy in the moral sense—far from it. Indeed it’s full of virtues, being packed with lovely, healthy, lightly toasted seeds. I particularly like eating this using the roll-your-own method (see Notes), which creates a very satisfying leafy, grainy crunch in the mouth. The fennel or cumin seeds add an intense, aromatic flavor, which some will love and others may wish to avoid. You can, of course, prepare and keep them separate, as an optional sprinkle.
NotesAlternatively, you can turn this into a roll-your-own affair. Put the spinach in a bowl on the table, with the toasted seeds and dressing in separate bowls. Everyone can then help themselves to a leaf, sprinkle a pinch of seeds down the center and roll it up, like a little leafy pancake, then dip it into the dressing and eat. If you choose to serve the salad this way, you’ll probably need more seeds, so increase the quantity a touch.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Taste and Texturenutty
Type of Dishfirst course salad, salad
- 1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 to 2 tablespoons hempseeds or poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel or cumin seeds (optional)
- A good squeeze of lemon juice
- A pinch each of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons canola oil (or half olive and half sunflower oil)
- 8 ounces young spinach leaves, trimmed
Combine all the seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Toast them for a minute or two, tossing frequently so they don’t burn, until they are starting to brown and smell really lovely. Pam into a bowl and set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, stir the lemon juice and seasonings together in a bowl and then whisk in the oil, or shake the ingredients together in a screw-top jar to combine.
Put the spinach leaves in a serving bowl, drizzle over the dressing, and toss together. Scatter over about half the seeds, toss lightly again, then sprinkle the remaining seeds over and serve.
2009 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall