Alongside dips, spreads and pickles, fresh salads are a part of ‘salatim’ which literally translated from Hebrew does mean ’salads’ but the translation does not do justice to this social food ritual. Colourful plates, bursting with fresh market produce at the height of season will be crammed in front of you primed for scooping warm, fluffy bread into - grill restaurants have been known to serve a spread of up to 25 plates! You will easily see sat side-by-side a Russian beetroot salad, zesty Moroccan carrot salad and a Lebanese fattoush on a crowded tabletop - the perfect representation of the mix of religious and ethnic groups which live together in Israel.
Time: 10 mins (prep)
Equipment: 1x chopping board, 1x chef knife, 1x large mixing bowl, 1x tablespoon
Start by deseeding and chopping your red pepper and add it to the bowl.
Next, chop your tomatoes into a nice dice and then place into your bowl.
The onion will be full of flavour so when chopping it down, chop the onion more finely to help balance the flavours.
Now take the bunch of mint leaves and slice them thinly, along with the green of the spring onion.
Add the greens into your bowl and then go in with a touch of red wine vinegar, salt and olive oil.
Give it a good mix and distribute all the flavours creating a beautiful sauce.
Now plate it up with some fresh labaneh and some tahini sauce.
This is a chunky salad like Zoe’s so roughly chop into sizes that you like.
Use the seasons to create your fresh salad - what we also want to do is chop the salad right before we eat it as we want it to be very fresh and full of nutrients.
Keep all the juice from the tomato and add it into your bowl.
Create different textures with your knife skills by cutting them differently.
We want to cut the onion into smaller chunks as it can be a really dominant flavour - so we don’t want it to overpower our salad.
Don’t run your knife through the herbs too heavily as we don't want to bruise them and lose all the flavour.
Go with your taste here and use as much or as little vinegar as you like. As any chef will tell you, taste, taste, taste.
Take your time when mixing the salad, it will allow all the flavours to get to know each other and create a beautiful sauce.
Serve it how you like or take a look at the get creative section for more ideas.
Labaneh - Use a range of different creamy spreads, from hummus to greek yoghurt.
Bread - Take advantage of the variety of breads Israel has to offer. This is a great way to make your dish go that bit further.
Vegetables - Work with the seasons. Use the seasons as a framework to guide your cooking - your salad will taste all the better for it.