Chilled Moorish Spinach and Almond Salad
- SERVINGS: 8
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon mild honey
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dried currants, soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 1 pound baby spinach
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the cumin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Scrape the spice oil into a medium bowl and let cool. Whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Add the shallots and currants. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Wipe out the skillet.
- Heat the vegetable oil in the skillet. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let cool.
- Prepare an ice water bath. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the spinach for 10 seconds. Drain and cool in the ice water bath. Drain again and squeeze dry. Gently separate the spinach leaves and add them to the dressing. Add the almonds and toss.
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