This simple, colorful salad is packed with bright flavor and has a satisfying crunch. It’s also filled with healthy, fresh ingredients that pair well with most entrees.
You can never have enough variations on the basic Israeli salad. The crisp cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, tart lemon juice and sultry olive oil make an irresistible combination. Recently I had the pleasure of cooking brunch with my good friend Bati Prince and her delightful family. Bati shared with me her go-to Israeli Salad, which includes ripe avocado, red bell pepper and fresh mint in the mix. You can watch us making it together in the video down near the recipe. 🙂
What we call Israeli Salad evolved from a Turkish salad known as shepherd’s salad – coban salatsi, which is closely related to a Persian salad known as salad shirazi, named for the ancient city of Shiraz. This salad is known by different names with small variations throughout the Middle East. In the late 1800′s, coban salatsi became popular on Israeli kibbutzim (communal agricultural collectives) because the ingredients were easy to grow in the warm Mediterranean climate… tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, onions and peppers. The vegetables are always diced, usually quite small, a practice that started in the Ottoman Empire. Although this salad has different names throughout the Middle East, we call it Israeli Salad because of my husband’s Sephardic background.
Here are some other Israeli Salad recipes you might enjoy:
I’ve broken down the recipe and ingredient amounts below. This would be the perfect salad to make for a Labor Day weekend. This refreshing, low calorie side dish complements a variety of main dishes. It can be served with any meal– even breakfast or brunch!
- 1 1/2 lbs Persian cucumbers diced small
- 1 red bell pepper diced small
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced small
- 1 oz fresh mint chopped
- 1 avocado diced
- 2 tomatoes diced small
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or more to taste
- 3/4 tsp salt or more to taste
- Combine all vegetable ingredients in a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Stir gently to combine. Taste; add more lemon juice or salt, if desired.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature. As the salad sits, a delicious liquid will collect in the bottom of the bowl. Stir the salad to meld the flavors, or dip bread in this juice for a treat.