Israeli salad, also known asJerusalem salad consists of tomato, cucumber, and onion. A refreshing side salad pairs well with Middle Eastern food like Falafel. If you’re looking to swap out the donuts for fresh red onion and juicy, crunchy cucumbers, this is the dish for you!
Jerusalem Salad (Israeli Salad) is a cucumber tomato salad originally from the Middle East. It’s a special dish for many reasons and has a fascinating background behind it.
After the original conception of East-Mediterranean or Persian cucumber salad recipes, such as Iranian Shirazi salad or Lebanese Fattoush, and Sumac Salad, tomatoes were introduced to Israel.
Jerusalem salad is the name often called by people outside of Israel. Most people commonly refer to this dish as Israeli Salad and Salat Katzutz (literally translated as “Israeli vegetable salad” or Arab salad).
The origins of the Jerusalem Salad trace back to mid-19th century Israel. Tomatoes are not native to the area and were imported from South America through trade. However, Jewish immigrants brought this cucumber and tomato salad to worldwide when many Jewish families started farming in their new homeland. The expansion of farming within their community gave way to a surplus of vegetables, and original Israeli Salad recipes include tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, spices, and salts.
From there, we get the spiced cucumber onion tomato salad that we know and love today.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
The ingredients you need to make Jerusalem Salad are fresh parsley, red onion, sumac, sea salt and pepper, lemon zest, tomatoes, and extra-virgin olive oil.
As you may notice I didn’t use lemon juice in the dressing but sumac. Because I like the fruity sweet and sour taste of sumac. What’s sumac? Sumac is dried wild berry ground, therefore it has a lemony and tart flavor. It’s a very common seasoning in Middle-Eastern cuisines, when paired with Persian cucumbers — mellows out and provides a lively fresh taste.
Now, some Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad recipes choose to add a few more ingredients like lime juice, vinegar, ginger, and peppers- even creamy salad dressing like lemon herb tahini or vegan tzatziki sauce to kick up the flavor. But, if this is your first time trying it, I suggest sticking with our Jerusalem Salad recipe before experimenting.
HOW TO MAKE JERUSALEM SALAD
It is a quick and easy-to-whip-up cucumber tomato salad recipe. First, you take all your vegetables and chop them finely. That’s said, the finer diced the vegetables are, the more impressive your dish becomes — so keep this in mind when chopping and dicing. Traditionally, there is no need to peel cucumbers.
First, chop tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions into small dices, and also finely chop the parsley with the stem removed. Place all the prepared ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Secondly, add seasonings — extra-virgin olive oil, sumac, lemon zest, salt, and pepper into the bowl, mix until all the ingredients well. Do a taste test and adjust the lemon zest, salt and pepper to your liking- and voila!😉