What Is an Israeli Salad?

Misty Amber Brighton

An Israeli salad is a light and refreshing accompaniment to almost any meal. This chopped salad is made from fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and other ingredients such as diced onions, multi-colored bell peppers, and parsley. The dish normally contains a dressing made of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It is also called salat yerakot, which means Israeli vegetable salad, or salat aravi, which means Arab salad.

Yellow tomatoes can be used in an Israeli salad.
Yellow tomatoes can be used in an Israeli salad.

The two main ingredients in an Israeli salad are cucumbers and tomatoes. Fresh vegetables are used rather than canned or frozen ones. Cucumbers are typically not peeled before they are diced into small pieces. Red tomatoes are normally used, but the salad could also contain yellow ones.

Red bell peppers are commonly added to an Israeli salad.
Red bell peppers are commonly added to an Israeli salad.

Some cooks simply add a homemade dressing to the diced cucumber and tomato. Other people may choose to add other vegetables, such as onion or bell pepper. More than one color of pepper or onion may be added to this dish. For example, an Israeli salad may contain both red and white onions along with green, yellow, and red peppers.

Tomatoes are an ingredient in Israeli salad.
Tomatoes are an ingredient in Israeli salad.

In order to give the Israeli salad a bit of flavor, a light dressing is added to the dish. This dressing normally contains olive oil along with either white vinegar or lemon juice. Some seasoning may be added to the mixture in order to add flavor, and salt and pepper are two common spices used.

A hearty Israeli salad with feta and olives.
A hearty Israeli salad with feta and olives.

Israeli salad can be served at almost any meal and makes a wonderful snack. This chopped salad is often served in Israeli hotels that offer a breakfast buffet. It can also be wrapped in a pita and served as a main dish. This vegetable salad also complements a variety of meats and stews, which makes it ideal for serving as an appetizer along with the dinner meal.

Most people prefer to serve Israeli salad cold rather than at room temperature. After preparing this dish, it should be covered and placed in a refrigerator for one to two hours before eating. Leftovers can be kept for several days provided they are covered shortly after the meal is finished.

Although this dish originated in the Middle East, Israeli salad is now enjoyed throughout the world. It is a tasty dish which is low in fat and carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who are dieting. The salad also provides a brilliant display of color, making it a wonderful accompaniment for a variety of entrees.

Some hotels in Israel include chopped Israeli vegetable salad as part of a breakfast buffet.
Some hotels in Israel include chopped Israeli vegetable salad as part of a breakfast buffet.

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