Post is also available in: Italian
Fresh and delicious, the Israeli Salad is a really simple side dish to prepare perfect to accompany not only the typical Israeli and Middle Eastern dishes such as falafel and kebab and the inevitable Pita, but also with any other dish such as grilled chicken, or a nice steak .
The Origin of the Israeli Salad
Commonly called Israeli Salad, in Israel it is known as Salat Katzutz or “chopped salad”. Its origins are actually Persian and Turkish. In fact, Cucumbers originate from the lands of ancient Persia. Their empire pushed to conquer the Middle Eastern lands, bringing this delicious vegetable with them. Tomatoes, on the other hand, made their appearance in the 19th century.
It soon became the most popular and loved side dish, so much so that it was also eaten for breakfast, a habit only maintained in the hotels of the town. Instead, it still remains the main side dish of the various grilled meat dishes and falafel obviously accompanied by the pita that is often stuffed with it and the typical kebab.
Variants of the Salad of Israel
The Israeli Salad is prepared using unpeeled cucumbers and very fresh tomatoes. The secret to the success of a perfect Israeli salad is cutting the vegetables into small cubes. Some cut tomatoes into wedges but the result is not the same. Being a salad spread well or badly throughout the Middle East, in some cases it has variations. For example, some peel the cucumbers, or add the red and / or yellow peppers always cut into cubes, and in addition to the use of parsley they also add mint or coriander or a combination of them as I did. Lettuce, on the other hand, is not used in traditional recipes.
Usually this Jewish salad is dressed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and flavored with sumac or better still with Za’atar, a mixture that can include oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, cumin, savory, hyssop, marjoram. and fennel seeds. According to the tastes and recipes of the various families, chilli is also added.
Israeli Salad – Middle Eastern Salad
- 450 g Cucumbers Persian or English
- 450 g Tomatoes
- 140 g Red Onions
- 10 g Parsley
- 10 g Mint
- 3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon Juice
- to taste Salt
- to taste Black Pepper
- 1 – 2 tsp Za'atar
- Cube the cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes. If you want you can cut tomatoes into quarters, in this case opt for cherry tomatoes or dates.
- Chop the herbs and add it to the vegetables, if you don’t like coriander you can omit it.
- Prepare the sauce using lemon juice, pepper oil and Za'atar or sommacco.
- Season and serve. You can store it in the fridge ready.