OK, clearly I can’t take credit for inventing this salad…variations on this flavor-bursting salad are a staple all over the Middle East. The deliciousness of this wonderful crunchy veggie combination is one thing we can all agree on even in these very difficult times. You will see zillions of versions of this (some with with fresh herbs like parsley added, or lemon juice in the dressing, all of which are also delicious) but here is the one I grew up with, and it is my favorite. The secret to this salad is using fresh ingredients, chopping all the veggies finely so you get a rainbow of flavor in every bite. The pickles in this recipe add a wonderful salty-sour bite. The deceptively simple dressing of olive oil and salt actually draws out and compliments the wonderful juices of all the veggies, turning it into a symphony of yumminess. How to serve? This is definitely an anytime, anywhere salad. I love it for breakfast accompanied by cottage cheese and/or scrambled eggs, but it also it easily pairs with lunch or dinner main courses (of course the traditional way to serve is with falafel and hummus but it really goes well with everything!). I treasure wonderful memories of chopping the veggies for this salad with my grandparents every morning in Israel. It is truly a taste of home for me. Give this version a try. Serves 3-4, scales up easily.
- 2 scallions
- 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes (or equivalent)
- 2 cucumbers (Persian cucumbers work the best)
- 2 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers
- 2 small radishes (optional, not pictured in this version)
- 1-2 Israeli-style pickles (imported, canned – popular brands include Osem, Kvuzat Yavne, or Beit HaShita – or make your own with my recipe here)
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Wash and then finely chop all your veggies (about 1/4 inch cubes, roughly – see image below as a guide), making sure to discard stems, pepper seeds and ribs.
Place in a large salad bowl. Don’t worry about tomato juice getting in, that will become part of the wonderful dressing! Now add the olive oil and salt, and give it all a good mix. Give the flavors a few minutes to mingle. Add more sea salt to taste if needed. B’teavon!