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Israeli Salad

Written by Leah Schapira on Thursday, 26 April 2012. Posted in Food Mood

Today Israel is celebrating it's Independence Day called Yom Ha'atzmaut. Looking to support Israel? Why don't you start with our Addicts Guide to Israeli Bloggers. - CookKosher

A while back I walked into a Falafel stand in Central Jerusalem to buy myself a fresh falafel. Falafel balls and salad were tossed into pita breads so fast I could barely keep up. The workers kept on barking  "Falafel, Chummus, Yirakot (vegetables) Chamutzim (pickles)…". When it was my turn to request what I wanted I innocently requested Salat Yisraeli - Israeli Salad. There was pin drop silence and then a deep laugh from behind the counter. They guy behind the counter smirked and said "You're in Israeli, what do you think you'll get, American Salad?"
Lesson number one - never call a food by the country if you are in the actual country. In France, fries aren't French and in Antwerp the waffles aren't Belgian . 
Back to our salad, Israeli Salad is a salad of small diced cucumbers and tomatoes. Some people add peppers, onions and parsley. The dressing is always fresh lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper. My extended family eats so much of this salad that it's a daily staple. 
Israeli's always use Persian cucumbers (that's what Americans call it). Persian cucumbers are smaller have a thinner peel and are seedless. Traditionally it isn't peeled, but my kids prefer it peeled. Tomatoes - plum tomatoes are our favorite, but you can use any variety. Onion - white onions are more authentic, yet we love red onions as it adds a great color. 
Finely dice all the vegetables.  The ability to chop the most finest, most perfect dice is a true indication of a great Israeli cook. 
I may not be able to claim that yet. I'm working on it. 
For dressing, you drizzle some fresh lemon juice, oil and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. 
Since my family likes it with a lot of dressing, my mother-in-law created a low fat dressing that make you feel like it still has plenty of flavor without much oil. 
Here's another Israeli favorites - Schwarma
How do you like your Israeli salad?

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About the Author

Leah Schapira

Leah Schapira is the bestselling author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. In 2010, Leah launched, the popular online kosher recipe exchange. Her cookbook career began at the age of 21, when she wrote her first cookbook as a fundraiser to begin channeling her passion for recipes. Leah is also a monthly columnist for Whisk, the popular kosher food magazine published by Ami Magazine, where readers appreciate her humor and wit. She has been featured in The Washington Post, The Star Ledger, and The Blue Lifestyle, among many others. When she's not writing cookbooks Leah enjoys traveling the world with her husband and children.

Comments (2)

  • uptowngirl
    27 April 2012 at 03:03 |

    just add pickles to the cucmbers, tomato, pepper and the salad will be even better!

  • scook
    03 May 2012 at 15:04 |

    I found a recipe that calls for garlic powder and cumin in addition to the salt and black pepper. The flavor is amazing!

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