An Israeli salad is like no other. I remember telling my friend about the first time I had an American salad after moving back from Israel. The only way I could describe it accurately was that it looked like a dead plate of leaves in comparison to the salads I had enjoyed in Israel.
There are many more variations than the simple salad of chopped vegetables:
- Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad.
- Fatoush Salad with Labane (Take vegetable salad, add some toasted pita and you have fatoush. Labane is a cheese similar to sour cream in texture and taste, but healthier).
- Orange and Olive Salad.
- Roasted Eggplant Salad.
- Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad.
My Favorite Traditional Israeli Salad Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
- 1 juicy lemon, halved
- 4 firm ripe tomatoes, diced
- 4 unpeeled cucumbers, diced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Dash cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons parsley and or/coriander and/or mint leaves, chopped
- Squeeze the juice of half the lemon. Remove the pips from the remaining half and peel the skin (including the white pulp). Chop finely.
- Place the chopped lemon and the lemon juice in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss. Adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.
Variation: To make your salad even more wholesome add coarsely grated carrots, finely sliced cabbage (red or white), chopped young radishes, fennel bulbs, spring onions and chives.
Like a rainbow on your plate! If it looks crazy, it’s probably delicious! I was a little hesitant the first time my friends encouraged me to order a Halumi salad; Halumi is a type of cheese and although it looks like fried pieces of tofu it is extremely delicious no matter how it’s prepared. It’s my salad of choice and I order it every time I visit Israel!
All of the salads from Israel are so delicious because they are made from fresh ingredients. They are made with several different types of lettuce, fresh local grown vegetables, sunflower seeds and other types of nuts and delicious cheeses. In many restaurants, you can order a variety of different salads that are served in smaller sampling dishes that can be shared by everyone at the table. Some of my favorites are:
- Olives & pickles
- Pickled carrots & cabbage
- Tabouleh (bulgar wheat and parsley salad)
- Spicy tomato based salad
It makes my mouth water just thinking about all of these delicious salads! These are usually served with warm, fresh baked pita.
Be-te’avon! bon appetite!