by: Janet Aslin
If you were to ask someone, “What is typical Israeli food?” chances are their answer would be, “Israeli salad and/or falafel.” Israeli salad is a truly versatile dish that can appear at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The basic ingredients are cucumber, tomato, onion, red pepper and cilantro (or parsley). Your cucumber selection will depend on availability. Here in Israel, we use the small Persian cucumbers, which are eaten unpeeled. English cucumbers may be substituted. If you are using American cucumbers, you will need to peel them, and your salad will not be as colorful.
The following recipe may be considered a starting point because Israeli salad can be modified in a myriad of ways. Proportions—for instance the cilantro—may be adjusted according to your tastes. Each cook has a slightly different twist on the preparation of Israeli salad. In all cases, vegetables should be at room temperature, fresh and very finely diced. Enjoy!
6–8 cucumbers (2–3 if using English cucumbers)
4 large tomatoes (may substitute cherry tomatoes)
1 red pepper, seeded
2–3 tbsp. fresh cilantro (or parsley), chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional additions: chopped olives, coarsely grated carrots, cubed avocado, radishes, green onions, hot peppers, thinly sliced cabbage or lettuce, finely chopped fresh ginger—let your imagination be your guide.
Source: Bridges for Peace
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