ISRAEL: Israeli salad

As I was looking up Israeli recipes, I found one that I’ve been eating all along without knowing it! I love making a tomato and cucumber salad with olive oil and lemon juice – essentially the basic format of an Israeli salad (I like to add raw unsalted peanuts to mine).

There are as many variations of this salad across the Middle East as there are names – it’s also known as “coban salatsi” (shepherd’s salad) in Turkey and “salad Shirazi” in Iran. It was picked up by kibbutzes in Israel as an easy and healthy salad or side dish with home-grown veggies.

I found this recipe on Tori Avey’s site, who is married to an Israeli and specializes in Israeli and Jewish cooking. She calls for Persian cucumbers, though I only had Lebanese available (very similar, though).

I knew I was going to like it before I tried it, since this is a variation on one of my favourite salads, but adding parsley and onion gives it an extra pop. The Lebanese cucumbers added a more “cucumbery” flavour than my normal English cucumbers, but that may just be that I didn’t leave them in the fridge before using them. It’s a very fresh, tasty salad – and really healthy too!

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