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aberdeen st. grape salad with spinach and sweet tahini

Ingredients

for the spinach salad:

  • 1/4 of 1 very small red onion (or 1 small shallot), sliced very thinly
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 7 ounces baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup dark purple seedless grapes, sliced in half (can sub red grapes, or blueberries/blackberries)
  • 14.5 ounce can butter beans (can sub any other white bean)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled (feel free to use more, leaving it in bigger chunks)

for the tahini date dressing:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup *
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. (Optional) Toss the red onion slices in the red wine vinegar, let them pickle for just 10 minutes, and then strain them very well (discard the vinegar). Otherwise, just use them sliced, as is.
  2. Heat the butter or oil in a medium skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the almonds and stir constantly for about 5 minutes, just until they take on a little color. Using a slotted spoon, remove the almonds to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the oil behind in the pan.
  3. Once the almonds have cooled down for a minute or two, place the spinach in a big bowl, and top with the grapes, beans, sesame seeds, feta, and toasted almonds. Set aside.
  4. Make the dressing: Whisk together the tahini and lemon juice until it forms a thick paste.
  5. Whisk in the water, date molasses, and salt. If it doesn’t thin out to your liking, you can add a little extra water and/or lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  6. Drizzle some dressing over the salad, toss everything together to combine, and serve right away.

Notes

* You can find date syrup/date molasses (same thing) at most Middle Eastern markets, health food stores, and online, but if you can’t find any near you, feel free to substitute honey (and feel free to include a few drops of blackstrap molasses if you want to give it more color and depth of flavor, or choose a buckwheat honey). If using honey, hold back a little, because it’s usually more sugary than date molasses.