Dates are an underused ingredient, but their sweetness is perfectly paired with salty ingredients like feta. Serve this salad on a bed of Venere black rice

Baby spinach, date, feta and black rice salad

Serves 4

75g walnuts, lightly toasted, chopped
​200g baby spinach leaves, well washed
1 medium red onion, peeled, thinly sliced
​120g good quality ready-to-eat dates
75g feta cheese
​150g Riso Gallo Venere Rice
1 small red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped

For the mint and cumin dressing

3tb white wine vinegar
6tb olive oil
1tb fresh lemon juice
Handful of roughly torn mint leaves
Sea salt
Good pinch of ground cumin

Place the Venere rice in a small pan, add 350ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until just tender. Drain in a colander and allow to cool.

To make the dressing, place all the ingredients except the mint leaves in a bowl and whisk together. Add the torn mint leaves and season to taste.

To prepare the salad, place the spinach leaves in a bowl and add the dates, cooked black rice, chilli, red onions and walnuts. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add enough dressing and toss gently together.

Dress in a salad bowl, grate the feta over the salad liberally then serve.

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