This Israeli Chopped Salad is a refreshing change from most of the salads we eat here in the States, even though none of the ingredients are in any way unusual, it’s just the way it all comes together that makes it a little different. In Israel you’d get a variation of this dish at every meal, they even eat it with breakfast! That’s an idea I could get into, I think it would be wonderful to wake up to a plate of fresh crunchy vegetables doused in olive oil and lemon juice. For this recipe I’ve taken our favorite falafel stand’s version up a notch with a few extra ingredients. It makes a great picnic or barbecue salad because it stays fresh and crunchy, and there’s nothing to wilt or spoil.
The classic Israeli salad is basically just chopped cucumber, tomato, and peppers, simply dressed with olive oil and lemon. There can be parsley, mint, or some greens mixed in. My version is bumped up a little bit with extra bell peppers that I had leftover from my Rainbow Salmon Skewers. They make it extra colorful and extra crunchy. I also add red onion and feta cheese. The whole thing is really festive.
The key to this salad is in the chopping. All the ingredients should be cut in uniformly sized small chunks. If you fall in love with this salad you might want to get one of those cool vegetable choppers to make quick work of the job. I did the best I could with my knife.
The dressing is a simple mix of olive oil and lemon juice with some dried oregano and thyme. While I usually use fresh herbs in salads, I like the flavor of the dried herbs in this dressing. It’s fine to make it a few hours ahead, the flavors will get a change to mingle.
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers
- 1 Persian cucumber, no need to peel
- 1 pint small cherry tomatoes, halved
- about 4 oz feta cheese
- about 4 - 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Cut all the ingredients except the tomatoes in a small, even dice.
- Toss with the oil, lemon juice, and herbs. Add the salt and pepper according to taste.
- Taste to adjust the seasonings, and then refrigerate until needed.
- Garnish with a few fresh herbs like parsley, mint, or thyme just before serving.