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Fattoush Salad

Tina Wasserman

I first tasted this Mediterranean classic at a Lebanese restaurant. Although the main components of the salad are reminiscent of an Israeli salad, the toasted pita chips add a different texture and create a flavorful result. This is a great salad for a Shabbat cold luncheon.

2 large pita breads
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon zatar seasoning (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head romaine lettuce, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
5 scallions, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  1. Brush the tops of the pita bread with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle zatar over the tops. Bake at 375°F until golden and crisp. Allow to cool and then break into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings in a small, screw-top jar. Adjust seasoning if necessary and set aside.
  3. Combine all the vegetables in a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the sumac and pita pieces.
  4. Just before serving, toss with the salad dressing.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Sumac is the small red berry from wild bushes that grow throughout the Levant. Its flavor is suggestive of lemon or a sour candy.
  • The easiest way to seed a cucumber is to cut it in half lengthwise and run a spoon tip or melon baller down the middle, scraping out the seeds as you go.
  • To seed a tomato, cut the tomato in half horizontally and gently squeeze each half, cut side down, over the sink. A final shake should release the seeds.

Cocoa Nibs Citrus Salad

Deborah R. Prinz

Created by Rabbi Mark Hurvitz, this refreshing treat balances out the heaviness and bounty of any celebratory meal, such as a Passover Seder. Its pastel colors, dotted by cocoa nibs and pistachios, reflects bursts of spring in the natural world, and brightens any table. 

1 grapefruit, peeled (membrane removed, optional)
2 navel oranges, peeled
3 blood oranges, peeled
4 clementines, peeled
Pomegranate syrup (optional)
Several tablespoons cocoa nibs, to taste
Pistachios, roasted and chopped
  • Cut the fruit into bite-size pieces and and place in a large serving bowl, preferably glass. Add the pomegranate syrup to taste.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle the cocoa nibs and roasted pistachos over the fruit salad.

​Reprinted with permission from On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao (2nd Edition) by Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz speaks about chocolate and Jews around the world. The newly released 2nd Edition of her book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, (Jewish Lights) contains 25 historical and contemporary recipes. The book is used in adult study, classroom settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings. She blogs at The Forward, The Huffington Post and

Israeli Green Salad with Strawberries

Orly Ziv

Ramat Hasharon, where I live, was famous for its strawberry fields. Now only a few remain and I love being able to get fresh, local strawberries just a few minutes from my home. While strawberries are a summer fruit in many parts of the world, here they peak in winter. I love how this bright salad highlights the fruit and people go nuts for it every time I serve it.

2 cups mixed lettuce leaves (use different kinds of lettuce)
2 cups spinach leaves
1 basket of strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup sweet pecans
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup silan (date honey)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Mix all the lettuce and spinach leaves together in a salad bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the strawberries and pecans on top.
  3. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients with a hand blender or food processor until smooth.  Season before serving. (Note: This makes plenty of extra dressing, but it's excellent on any salad and will keep for at least a week in the fridge.)
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration by Orly Ziv. 

Orange and Fennel Salad

Orly Ziv

Combining fruits and vegetables in salads is very Israeli. Oranges, in particular, are identified with Israel and this recipe pairs them with fennel for an unusual flavor combo. A variation of this combination also exists in Moroccan and Greek cuisine.

2 oranges
½ cup Kalamata or oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 fennel bulbs, sliced
½ cup fresh basil and/or mint leaves, torn
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons silan (date honey)
  1. Peel the oranges and trim away any remaining white pith. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Put the oranges, olives, red onion, fennel, basil and/or mint in a bowl and toss gently to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and silan.
  4. Drizzle over the salad and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration by Orly Ziv. 

Chicken Salad Veronique with Avocados

Tina Wasserman

This cold salad, featuring Israel’s summer bounty, is perfect for a hot summer’s day. French recipes titled Veronique signify the inclusion of grapes. This one is a snap if you ask the deli person to cut the meat into half-inch thick slices (number 35 on some slicers).

8 ounces cooked deli chicken or smoked turkey, slices cut 1⁄2-inch thick
1 1⁄2 avocados, ripe but firm
Juice of 1 1⁄2 limes
2 cups seedless red grapes, sliced in half
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 good pinch of dried summer savory or thyme
1–2 Tablespoons sweet vermouth or red wine
Toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
  1. Cut the chicken into half-inch cubes and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Slice whole, peeled avocado into half-inch cubes and place in a small bowl. Add the juice of 1 lime to the cubes and toss.
  3. Mix in the halved grapes with the chicken.
  4. Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, summer savory or thyme, and sweet vermouth in a 1-quart bowl. Mix well.
  5. Drain the lime juice from theavocado cubes. Using a rubber spatula, gently toss the avocados with the chicken and grapes. Place in a serving bowl or on a plate.
  6. Carefully fold the mayonnaise mixture into the chicken and grapes.
  7. Thinly slice the remaining avocado half and place in a small bowl. Add the remaining lime juice and gently turn the slices to coat well.
  8. Arrange the avocado slices over the top of the prepared salad and sprinkle with toasted almond slices. Serve within a half hour after garnishing.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Whenever you’re mixing ingredients that include soft fruits or vegetables, use a rubber spatula; it will prevent the food from being nicked or mashed.
  • To slow down the discoloration of an opened avocado, lightly coat it with an acidic food such as citrus juice or vinegar. This will keep the avocado surface green for at least an hour.

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