Israeli salad
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Israeli salad

Summer is here – who like me still vividly recalls this year’s winter? All you have to do is look at the bumper of my pretty white car and see a small dent… a reminder of the snow bank my car slid into…oh well, it should be the worst thing! Anyway, for those planning a summer trip to Israel, making aliyah, or those just staying home.. here is a nice recipe for Israeli salad. It comes from a lovely book “The Book of New Israeli Food” by Janna Gur, with photography by Eilon Paz. (Schocken Books)

The recipe starts with an introduction… the secret to a great Israeli salad is no secret at all: choose ripe and flavorful vegetables, make sure they are room temperature (refrigeration dulls their flavor), use a very sharp knife to avoid crushing or mashing the vegetables, season heartily and serve promptly.

To perk up the flavor of your salad, sprinkle a dash of ground cinnamon in addition to salt and pepper, and add some fresh-diced lemon.

Our Favorite Israeli Salad

If the vegetables are in the refrigerator, take them out half an hour before preparation.

Serves 2-4

1 juicy lemon
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
½ fresh hot green pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
dash cinnamon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp. parsley and/or coriander and/or mint leaves, chopped

Squeeze the juice of half the lemon. Remove the pits 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. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

Variations:

Take advantage of choice seasonal vegetables to make your salad even more wholesome: coarsely grated carrots, finely sliced cabbage (red or white), and chopped young radishes, fennel bulbs, spring onions, and chives.

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