Seedy spinach salad
Obviously this is not seedy in the gutter sense – far from it. Indeed it’s full of virtues, being packed with lovely, healthy, lightly toasted seeds. The fennel or cumin seeds add an intense, aromatic flavour, which some will love and others may wish to avoid. You can, of course, prepare and keep them separate, as an optional sprinkle.
Combine all the seeds in a dry frying pan over a 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. Tip 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, trickle over the dressing and toss together. Scatter over about half the seeds, toss lightly again, then sprinkle the remaining seeds over and serve.
Alternatively, 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 centre and roll it up, like a little leafy pancake (or, let’s face it, a roll-up), then dip the ‘rollie’ into the dressing and eat. If you choose to serve the salad this way, you’ll probably get through more seeds, so increase the quantity a touch.
- 1–2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 1–2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1–2 tablespoons hemp seeds, or poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel or cumin seeds (optional)
- 250g young spinach leaves, trimmed
For the dressing:
- A good squeeze of lemon juice
- A pinch each of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil (or half olive and half sunflower oil)
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If you like this recipe, you might like the following course...
Who needs meat? During the River Cottage Veg cookery course you'll learn to turn local, seasonal produce into delicious veggie dishes.