classic israeli salad

classic israeli salad

After all the Passover holiday eating, all I really want is vegetables. Vegetables roasted until crisp, vegetables puréed in a soup, vegetables chopped in a salad. I’ll have them any way, as long as I fuel my body with vitamins and shed the kilos I sadly gained from all the matza I’ve eaten. I’ve barely cooked for a week since we have been invited for Passover lunches and dinners almost every day. You can tell so if you look at my fridge — it’s still fully stocked with fresh vegetables, waiting to be cooked into something delicious. I bought radishes over the weekend after promising to cook something with them in my April seasonal produce guide, and decided to chop them up and mix them with other fresh veggies to create a classic Israeli salad — one of the staple dishes of Israeli cuisine.

vegetables radish

Israeli cuisine is truly a melting pot of traditions and tastes imported from all around the world, resulting in beautiful dishes that transport you from one country to the next. Although its origins are quite unclear, Israeli salad is as important to Israelis as potato tortilla is to the Spanish. You’ll find it served next to practically every dish in Israel, stuffed into pita with falafel, drizzled with tahini, and accompanying eggs Benedict for breakfast. Yes, you read me right. Breakfast too. Israelis just can’t get enough of this fresh salad.

There are many variations of the salad — some include grated carrots, sliced fennel, shredded cabbage or herbs such as mint, coriander or za’atar, you can even add feta cheese if your heart desires — but what all versions have in common is the use of fresh vegetables chopped into a small dice. The smaller the dice the more authentic the salad is, and as you can tell by my pictures, I was a bit too lazy and didn’t chop my vegetables all into the same size. I was way too excited to finally enjoy something healthy!

classic israeli salad classic israeli salad classic israeli salad

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classic israeli salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Israeli
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 cups (250g) diced cucumber
  • 2 big tomatoes (or 30 cherry tomatoes), deseeded and diced
  • 6 medium radishes, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley, thinly chopped
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and serve.
ADAPTED FROM: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Fresh Vegetable Salad from their Jerusalem cookbook


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