Israeli salad is the perfect summer bite. It takes the absolute best of summer’s bounty and combines it into a light and refreshing salad. It makes a great side or light lunch during the warmer months when we all crave tomato salads and lighter meals.
I first had this salad about 25 years ago. A friend introduced me to it and I fell in love instantly.
It is refreshing on a hot summer day and it’s also good for you! If you have a garden or you happen to have salad ingredients in your fridge, you likely have almost everything you need already.
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Summer fruits and vegetables are still here for a few more weeks and I try to get every last bite before they disappear until next year.
Tomatoes will soon be those pale pink, cellophane-wrapped globes trying to pass for the real thing.
And even though we know better, some of us will buy them anyway, only to be thoroughly disappointed.
I usually make a last-ditch effort this time of year to get the last of the summer produce before I am limited to root veggies.
Fall produce is wonderful and I absolutely love it, but there’s nothing like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and sweet corn during the summer months.
This salad makes wonderful use of what many people grow in their gardens, so if you grow some of your own veggies, you may not have to go farther than your backyard to get your ingredients!
How to make Israeli Salad
This salad is incredibly easy to make. The trick to it is chopping the ingredients finely.
If you look at the photo below, you can see how small everything is diced. That’s the key to the perfect bite! Chop everything small enough so you get a nice combination of ingredients in each bite.
Speaking of chopping, you need a sharp chef’s knife. This is especially important when it comes to herbs.
A dull knife will crush the herbs instead of slicing cleanly through them, which causes them to bruise and discolor.
Used in this recipe
- Sumac – a bright and citrusy flavor that livens up almost anything.
- Large bowls – I love these bowls for soup, ice cream, pasta and salads.
- Serving spoons – perfect for serving this, or any other, salad.
- Mixing bowls – essential for every kitchen.
What is sumac?
Sumac comes from a berry that grows on a bush. It is native to the Middle East and has a tangy, citrusy flavor. It tastes lemony, but not quite as tart as lemon.
It has a beautiful color and it’s flavor pairs well with vegetables, fish, chicken and lamb.
What can I serve with Israeli salad?
Here are a few dishes that will pair nicely with this light vegetable salad.
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- 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 4 mini cucumbers mini or 1 seedless English cucumber, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
- 1 tsp. honey, or agave if vegan
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sumac
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Add tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers to a medium bowl.
- Whisk together olive oil, honey/agave, lemon juice, vinegar, sumac, salt and pepper.
- Add to vegetable mixture and toss to combine.
- Add scallions and parsley. Toss to incorporate and serve immediately.
*The key to this salad is to cut everything very small. It takes a little more time, but the payoff is worth the effort!
It can be eaten as a side dish, pile it in a pita for a light lunch or scoop up with toasted pita chips for a snack.
If mini cucumbers are not in your market, buy the long, thin English cucumbers. Avoid the "regular" cucumbers, their flavor and texture is not as good.
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Serving Size:5 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 798mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Recipe originally published 9/8/12, most recent update 8/4/20