This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Another “Cooking in the Office” Video: Israeli Salad

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 2, 2010

At last! Yinnon and I made another cooking video at work. The first one, recorded in 2009, showed how to make boiled kubbeh for soup. This video shows how to make the fine chopped vegetable salad, called Israeli salad or Arab salad, depending on who you ask. Interestingly enough, Yinnon, who has worked in many restaurant kitchens, says that Arab kitchen workers call it Jewish salad.

This salad is not for the faint of heart or dull of knife. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever aspire to this degree of skill with a knife. Then again, neither did Yinnon’s wife, and she now chops salad like this.

You’ll notice that Yinnon doesn’t use peppers in this version. I’ll include the “recipe,” although it’s really just a list of ingredients. This is very much a “to your taste” kind of salad. If you want to add peppers or leave out the onion or substitute green onion, go ahead.

Israeli Salad

Tomatoes (about 1 medium tomato per person)
Cucumbers (about 1 small “pickling” cucumber per person)
Olive oil
Lemon juice (fresh)
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, coarsely ground

Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and parsley very finely. Mix and season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

If you are making the salad ahead of time, Yinnon recommends draining the tomatoes in a sieve. He also stores the chopped ingredients separately and mixes them at the last minute, although he doesn’t mention this in the video.

Posted in Food, Israel, videos | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Chicken Salad Improv

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 5, 2010

The time: Shabbat morning
The weather: Bloody hot
The menu: Um, can we change the subject?

Chicken Salad Improv

My original plan was to heat some chicken for Shabbat lunch but it was just too hot. So I threw together this chicken salad using ingredients I had in the fridge and served it with rice. It was very popular and I’ll definitely make it, or a variation on the theme, again. This salad was made with the hind quarters of a roasted chicken.

A couple comments : Don’t forget to remove the bits of gristle and cartilage from the chicken. I recently ate a chicken salad made by someone who chopped the ingredients without removing the inedible bits. Everyone was chewing very carefully…

Do take the time to chop the carrot and pepper finely. It gives a much better texture to the salad, even though it’s more work. Raw carrot, in my opinion, is too coarse in a salad if the pieces are large.

Curried Chicken Salad

4 servings

1 1/2 cups diced chicken
1 1/2 tbs. mayonnaise
1 medium carrot, peeled finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup raisins

Combine ingredients and chill.

Variations (what I would have added if I’d thought of it or had them in my fridge): 2 finely sliced green onions. A sprinkling of chopped pecans or slivered almonds would add a nice crunch, but then I’ll eat almost anything if it’s covered with nuts. I adore nuts on almost everything. Maybe everything.

Posted in Food, recipes | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Wheat, Beet, and Walnut Salad

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 3, 2010

Wheat, Beet, and Walnut Salad

Note to self: Take photo of food before breakfast, not after.

This salad was splendid with a big dollop of plain home-made yogurt. Unfortunately, I only remembered to take the photo after  I had eaten the last of that batch of yogurt, so I had to settle for a photo of the unadorned version.

As far as I know, this is my own invention. It’s very much a “according to your taste” recipe, so if you prefer lots of walnuts or lemon, feel free to alter the quantities.

Wheat, Beet, and Walnut Salad

1 cup coarse bulgur wheat (can substitute couscous)
2 cups boiling water
2 large beets, cooked and diced
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
5 tbs. olive oil
4 tbs. lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Note on walnuts: I don’t honestly expect you to crack them yourself but do try to find a reasonably fresh bag of shelled walnuts. If they’re stale or rancid, you’ll notice the off flavour a lot more readily in this recipe than you would in a pan of chocolate brownies.

Soak bulgur wheat in boiling water until water is absorbed (about half an hour). Whisk olive oil and lemon juice together and pour over wheat. Stir in diced beets and walnuts just before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I recommend adding the beets and walnuts just before serving because if you mix them ahead of time, the salad will be very red and the walnuts won’t be quite as crunchy. If that doesn’t bother
you or your family, then mix it ahead of time.

Variations: Plain yogurt is very good with this salad. If you want something salty to offset the sweetness of the beets, a few cubes of Feta or Bulgarian cheese would work.

This salad is perfect for the heat wave we’re having in Israel this week. Jerusalem has been in the 90s during the day. It’s even hotter in Maale Adumim where I live. I’ve been sleeping in front of the air conditioner. Everything seems to slow down when it’s this hot.

My son left yesterday to accompany a Bnei Akiva trip as some kind of medic. He’s a Magen David youth ambulance volunteer, which means he gets a lot of experience taking blood pressure, pulse, and filling out forms. I nagged him to take sunscreen. I hope he remembers to drink plenty of water.

Last Thursday his band went to Ashkelon to play for a Bnei Akiva dance and spent the night there (the drummer lives in Ashkelon). In the morning, at 8:30, a Grad missile was fired at Ashkelon from Gaza. He took cover in a shelter at his friend’s house  — a tight squeeze with the kids, parents, and grandparents. They heard the Grad land and the house shook. He forgot to mention it to me when he came home and I only heard about it at Friday night dinner when my husband asked him where he was when the missile fell.

Posted in Food, recipes | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »