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The Perfect Summer Recipe: Israeli Salad

The Perfect Summer Recipe: Israeli Salad

This simple, Israeli classic was taught to me in Israel by Gilad, the owner of Hess Cafe, which students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion used to frequent for his delicious soups, fresh salads, and amazing shakshuka. He was a short, bald, sweaty man with the attitude of a stereotypical sabra (Israeli Jews born in Irsael. He was gruff and harsh, but such a sweet guy when you get to know him.

I have a difficult time writing out “recipes,” because that’s not how I cook, nor how I learned this dish. I learn by tasting, watching, and listening, and so this is not a recipe, per se, but it should get you the feel of the dish. Don’t hold yourself to measurements and ratios. Taste as you cook, and add what you think it needs. (A caveat: whenever salting, add less than you think you need. You can’t take salt out of a dish!)

Israeli Salad

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Mini pickling cucumbers (about three per tomato)
  • Red onions
  • Fresh parsley, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the tomato, cucumber, and onion into about quarter-inch cubes. Toss lightly, then add the other ingredients, in order. Taste and adjust as necessary. That's it!

Rabbi David N. Young serves Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley, CA. He has served congregations in North Miami Beach, New York City, Alaska, Ohio, North Carolina, and has taught middle school, high school, and adults. In addition, Rabbi Young spent two summers at the Reform movement’s URJ Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, MA, and four summers at URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, GA.

Rabbi David N. Young
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