Salad'sAlison Lambert

SPINACH, CHORIZO AND SUMAC SALAD

Salad'sAlison Lambert
Spring can be a tricky time for produce as soon the robust winter greens start to wilt and the transition of produce starts its natural process.  I was quite unaware at how little is available for those few precarious weeks towards the start of October.  Some growers at the market even disappear for a few weeks just so they can let mother nature do her thing and replenish the stocks. 
I have been trying to offer different options on Salads, as they need not be lettuce, tomato and cucumber all the time.  I love hunting high and low to accumulate an array of tasty ingredients to put together mainly to offer that lighter option on those milder spring nights.  I always like to add a texture such as toasted bread, cracked wheat, barley, cous cous or toasted seeds and nuts.  Followed by a fresh, zesty dressing which when i get a minute i will spend some time on showing you just how fast, flavoursome and cheap to make.  It is also important to add the right dressing to the right salad - mustardy,vinegary emulsified dressing suit salads with robust leaves, cheese, eggs (like a lyonnaise) whereas a simple balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil dressing works wonders tossed through a classic rocket and parmesan salad.  And don't be afraid to season your salads and dressings as you would a hot dish!

SPINACH, CHORIZO AND SUMAC SALAD



serves 4
300g spinach leaves, washed and dried well
4 chorizo sausages
50g thick bacon, cut into lardons (small chunks)
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly into rounds
1-2 handful cherry tomatoes (when in season)
2 tortilla, wraps or flat breads
1 Tbsp sumac
3 tsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
pinch sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Method

Preheat you oven to 180C
Preheat a heavy based fry pan to medium.
Lightly brush the flatbreads with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and sumac.  Bake until golden and crispy.  Remove and cool.
Put whole tomatoes into the hot fry pan.  You don't want any oil as you are wanting the tomato skins to blacken and blister and slightly burst.  Remove when done. 
Place the onion rings into a little bowl, squeeze over the lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar, season lightly with salt and let sit for 5 minutes to slightly pickle.
Add a little oil and add the chorizo and bacon.  Cook gently until the chorizo and bacon goes a lovely golden colour and crispy in texture. 
Make your dressing by adding the vinegar, oil and seasoning to a bowl or cup and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust if necessary. You can add a little honey or sugar if you want it a little sweeter.

To Assemble; Ensure that your spinach is washed and drained well.  Rip into large chunks if necessary and put into a large bowl or platter.  Disperse the tomatoes, chorizo, bacon and red onions evenly throughout the salad.  Drain off any excess oil and add the dressing to the hot pan, swirl around the dressing so it mingles with the wonderful flavours off the bottom of the pan.  Add to the salad and toss gently.  Break up the crispy flat breads, sprinkle well with sumac and a pinch of sea salt flakes. 

It will go with almost anything and don't forget that this salad was made with bits and pieces from my fridge/pantry yours may very well be different as you may have different ingredients to use up.