This is our current summer side salad at The George Hotel's 50 Bistro, and is a perfect complement to most dishes on the current menu, especially any fish or seafood dishes.
It actually came from my wife who made this for dinner one night at home, and I’ve adapted it slightly.
4 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 red onion
50ml red wine vinegar
50 grams sugar
1 tsp coriander seeds
50 grams feta (we use Waiwiri buffalo feta but your favourite will be perfect)
100 grams walnuts
1 egg white
50 gm sugar
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
50ml pomegranate molasses
100ml olive oil
50ml canola oil
1 tsp rosewater (optional but magical)
Like any recipe (even the simple ones) there are a couple of items that can and or need to be done a head of time. The walnuts and the pickled onions are two such items.
For the pickled onions: halve the red onion and slice thinly. In a small pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, water and coriander seeds to the boil. Pour the pickle mix over the sliced onion in a small metal bowl, and chill over night ideally. This will bring out their colour and soften them up.
For the candied walnuts: turn your oven on to 150 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk up the egg white then add the spices and salt. Add the walnuts and coat well. Drain the excess mix off in a colander, and spread out evenly on baking paper or a silicone mat. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and turn them over, and break up slightly. Reduce the oven to 120 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool completely then break up more if needed. Store in an airtight container.
Note: this works really well with any nuts and great snack, so you may want to make a lot more!
For the pomegranate dressing: warm up the pomegranate molasses slightly then whisk the oils and rosewater together. This dressing has a great combination of sweet, sour and tangy, and will be a firm favourite in the condiment shelf your fridge.
The next step is to segment the oranges. Carefully peel the oranges and remove the segments with a small sharp knife going in between the white pith. Alternatively, if that’s a bit tricky, mandarin segments work well.
Final assembly: put the baby spinach in a large mixing bowl add enough of the dressing to coat the leaves. Add in the pickled onions and lightly mix. Place into the salad bowls of your choosing and sprinkle over the crumbled feta, the orange segments and candied walnuts. If fresh pomegranates are in season, a few fresh seeds through the salad makes it really pop.