Another Israeli classic, falafel should not be missed. At its best, a falafel sandwich has everything you might want in one bite. Crunchy chickpea balls, covered in creamy and rich tahini sauce, with some crisp cucumber and juicy tomatoes adding freshness, perhaps a dash of hot sauce for spice and bite. In falafel shops in Israel, you can add salads, pickles, hummus, even french fries, to make for an ultimate sandwich. I went for a more modest offering this time around, but I dream about the toppings that can be had in a real shop.
What do I need to say about hummus except that it’s delicious and everybody loves it? We couldn’t let Israel week pass without making up a batch. It’s so simple to make with a food processor.
I like to top mine with toasted pine nuts, olive oil, and paprika. This one has some extra tahini sauce in the middle too.
One of my favorite things about visiting family on their kibbutz, besides the family part, was eating breakfast in the dining hall. There were bins full of little crisp cucumbers and ripe red tomatoes, and I would grab a few on my tray, along with a hard-boiled egg, some super soft bread, and a cup of milky hot chocolate. Once at the table, you peeled and chopped your veggies, seasoned them with lemon juice and olive oil from little glass jars, a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper, and breakfast was ready. I often try to replicate this meal, but it never tastes the same. I keep trying, though, because it’s such a great way to start the day, and makes me think of the special people that I used to share it with.
Almost every country has it’s own version of Shnitzel, we’ve already explored several of these. But to us, the Israeli version is special. It brings back memories of childhood and kibbutz dining halls. The recipe is quite simple, chicken pounded flat (we used thighs, but breast is the standard), dipped in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and fried to a crispy brown. That’s it. We served it with mashed potatoes and Israeli salad and ate way too much.
Here’s a link to a good recipe
Kebabs in some form are popular throughout the world, and why not? There’s nothing simpler or more delicious than marinated meat cooked over a fire. Israel has several styles of kebab, owing to it’s multicultural history and this Shishlik is borrowed from Russian and other eastern European countries. We realized after the fact that this recipe may not be completely authentic to Israel because it’s not kosher! Traditionaly, the chicken is marinated in a lemon juice and onion puree, but we had no lemon so we used yoghurt instead. Still tasty though. We served it with couscous, Israeli salad and a big dollop of harissa.
Click through for Recipe.
Shakshuka is a dish of eggs slowly poached in a spiced tomato sauce. Popular in North Africa, it came to Israel by way of Tunisian Jews and quickly became an Israeli favorite, served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, because it’s just so delicious. If you leave the eggs slightly runny, the yolk spills out into the rich tomato sauce, and the resulting liquid, mopped up with bread, is pretty much perfection.
I made it for breakfast, and went with an herb-infused, lighter sauce, which my 4-year-old declared “the best eggs ever”!
Check out Nadav’s meatball version!
We usually think of shakshuka as something for breakfast, but there are many variations of this classic Israeli dish that include meat and other non-breakfast ingredients. The basics are all the same, crack eggs into a spicy, flavorful tomato sauce and simmer until they are just set. But from there, the options to kick it up are endless. We added lamb meatballs and kale, but you could just as easily use beef or chicken and any other green to make your own version. The result is a rich and tasty meal that goes well served over couscous.
Click through for the recipe.
Welcome to Israel Week! We all love the Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, and this recipe for kofta with tahini sauce and topped with pine nuts, is a great example of why it’s such a great book. These meatballs are full of spices and garlic, and the tahini adds a nutty, rich layer. Served with some pita and a salad of crisp cucumber and tomatoes (recipe to come in a future post), and you’ve got yourself a meal.