Wednesday, July 28, 2010
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I was introduced to this salad in a tourist hotel that sat at the edge of a hutong in Bejing, China. A group of Israeli tourists was also staying at the hotel and most mornings I'd have breakfast with them. I'm a very early riser and would sneak to the dining room for a cup of coffee rather than disturb Bob with my restlessness. It bothered these kind folks to see me sitting by myself and they insisted I join them at their table. Breakfast in a Chinese tourist hotel is a multicultural affair that features food, usually served buffet style, that will appeal to all the groups who are guests of the hotel. My friends, although not worried about keeping kosher, had a separate dining area with an array of food that centered on salads and other foods our hosts thought more typical of an Israeli or Mediterranean diet. My companions would gather various vegetable elements from the buffet and bring them back to the table where they were tossed with chopsticks and dressed with fresh lemon and whatever oil was available. Though not accustomed to salad at six in the morning, I was charmed into sharing theirs for the duration of my stay. Although there is some chopping involved, the salad is very easy to assemble and it's perfect for a summer meal when tomatoes and cucumbers are abundant. If you haven't had this salad, I hope you will give it a try. While the salad is delicious, it does not keep well, so dress it just before serving and make no more than you will use in one sitting. Here's how it's made.
Israeli Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 large green bell pepper
3 (6-to 8-ounce) tomatoes, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted, quartered
2/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1) Char pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened. Enclose in plastic bag 15 minutes. Peel, seed, and cut pepper into 1/3-inch cubes. Place in large bowl.
2) Add tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, and parsley. Whisk oil and lemon juice in small bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper, then mix into vegetables. Let vegetables marinate at least 15 minutes but not more than 3 hours before serving. Cover and chill. Yield: 6 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Mediterranean Orzo Salad - Andrea Meyers
Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette and Herbs - Kalyn's Kitchen
Strawberry Tomato Salad with Balsamic - Jungle Frog Cooking
Israeli Salad - Phoo-d
The Quintessential Salad - Nosh and Tell
Cherry Tomato Salad - Tastes Like Home