Spa Recipe: Arugula and Fennel Salad with Green Almonds, Labneh & Crisp Wild Rice
We know it’s still summer time, and time to cool us inside out. As the mercury soars and daylight lingers, we turn to energizing, easy-to-prepare dishes to satisfy our tastebuds. Here, inspiration comes from across the planet in the form of a lively, leafy medley served at the award-winning Inbal Jerusalem Hotel, which is home to an ISPA-certified spa.
In his signature summer salad, executive chef Andreas Marinkovits has created a dish that’s a feast for the eyes and the palate. In addition to its unique combination of textures and flavors, the salad’s health benefits are noteworthy: arugula brims with folic acid, calcium, iron, copper and vitamins A, C and K; fennel is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese; and almonds contain monounsaturated fat, vitamins B and E, plus calcium, magnesium and potassium.
The dish is a hit with the hotel’s spa clients. “After a pampering treatment, the last thing guests want is a heavy meal,” says Marinkovits. “This salad is light and refreshing, flavorful, and full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that complete the holistic cleansing of the body that we aim to achieve in the spa. The citrus notes add brightness without fat or salt to weigh down or bloat the body.”
Versatility is another plus point, notes the chef. It’s up to you to play with different additions to this already wonderfully crafted recipe. He explains that the green almonds can always be replaced with walnuts, pine nuts or roasted almonds; a grapefruit can stand in for the orange; and ricotta, feta or creamy goat cheese make good alternatives.
Arugula and Fennel Salad with Green Almonds, Labneh & Crisp Wild Rice
1 cup arugula
1 medium fennel bulb,
10 green almonds, sliced
1 Tbs. wild rice
1 tsp. canola oil
1 orange, segmented
2 Tbs. labneh cheese
1 tsp. honey
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper
Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add rice, which will start to puff up. Once rice is puffed, remove to paper towel to cool. Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and blend with stick blender until combined. Add arugula, fennel, almonds and orange segments, and toss lightly. Divide cheese between two small plates, then gently top with salad and sprinkle with puffed rice.