Spa Recipe: Arugula and Fennel Salad with Green Almonds, Labneh & Crisp Wild Rice

Offer clients a dish that's a feast for the eyes and the palate!

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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. 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 if labneh cheese is hard to find.

Arugula and Fennel Salad with Green Almonds, Labneh & Crisp Wild Rice

Serves 2

Salad:
1 cup arugula
1 medium fennel bulb,
finely sliced
10 green almonds, sliced
1 Tbs. wild rice
1 tsp. canola oil
1 orange, segmented
2 Tbs. labneh cheese

Dressing:
½ lemon
1 tsp. honey
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper
to taste

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.