Raw. Simple. Fresh. A perfect salad for a hot summer night, as a side dish or a quick lunch. An Israeli salad is defined as a finely chopped salad of raw vegetables, tossed with a simple dressing. Middle Eastern restaurants serve variations of this salad in pita pockets, on it’s own or to accompany falafel, a deep-fried chickpea fritter. Traditionally, the salad contains tomatoes, Kirby or Persian cucumbers, onion and peppers. I added carrot and radishes and skipped the onion and pepper. Experiment with your own combination. The key is to to cut the vegetables into a small dice, sometimes referred to as Brunoise. The dressing is just simply topping the salad with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic (optional) and parsley or mint leaves. This salad would be great served with hummus or tahini and pita bread. A sprinkle of Za’atar, a middle eastern spice mixture, can add a nice “zip” to the salad.
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- 3 medium or one large cucumber
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 4 red radishes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Options: onion, red or green pepper, leafy greens, herbs such as parsley, dill, cilantro
Chop all the vegetables into a medium or small dice. In a medium bowl, mix all of the chopped vegetables together with the chopped herbs. Dress the salad with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serves 2-4.