The reason this salad holds up so well at room temperature is because you dress it twice. It absorbs the first round of dressing completely, the second addition keeps it glossy, and a fistful of walnuts and breadcrumbs means there’s always something to bite into.
This recipe is an ancient Persian take on the spinach salad from masterful writer Joan Nathan. Spinach is quickly blanched in boiling water, then pulsed in a food processor with cilantro, walnuts and garlic until roughly chopped. Toss with vinegar, salt and pepper and serve at room temperature alongside a chunk of whole grain bread and good butter and you have a delicious spring dinner.
What's not to love when with an effortless twist a dish becomes something brand-new? Puree the Cantaloupe Thai Chile Basil Salad with an adjustment or two, and you will have a soup that is heaven in a bowl at the end of a steamy summer commute home.
It might seem a hassle to roast the fennel and tomatoes separately, but it does make things easier when you come to assemble this, as each element stays intact and keeps its shape.