For those of you who aren’t familiar with Israeli Salad, it evolved from a Turkish salad known as shepherd’s salad which is closely related to a Persian salad known as salad Shirazi, named for the ancient city of Shiraz. The salad is known under different names with slight ingredient variations throughout the Middle East. One of the main ingredients in Israeli salad is Persian cucumbers. Smaller and sweeter than English cucumbers and they are great for snacking.
Persian cucumbers have lots of little seeds, which add to their flavor. If you have trouble digesting seeds, you can seed the cucumber easily by slicing it in half lengthwise and scooping out the seed-filled center.
The key to flavor consistency is to dice the tomatoes and cucumbers to a similar size because they easily hold its shape together. Once you have all of your vegetables prepped, just add the herbs, a little lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Mix everything together and you’re ready to serve.
- 2 extra large tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- ½ Cup herbs (Italian parsley, mint or cilantro, or a mix)
- zest of one lemon
- Lemon juice (start with ½ a lemon, more to taste)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop the first 6 ingredients into a very small fine dice. The smaller, the better. Take your time with this and a sharp knife really makes this easier!
- Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper.
- Taste and adjust lemon and salt to your liking.