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Jun 22, 2011 07:24 PM

Strong Israeli salad recipe

My wife and I were recently at an event where a kosher caterer had served an Israeli salad like dish (tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, etc) but it wasn't the typical lemon juice and olive oil dressing. It had more thickness than that and was spicy and had some bite. We couldn't figure out what was in it but it was irresistable. Maybe some white pepper? Who knows...

I am just curious if anyone here has any similarly "spicy" Israeli salad recipe of their own and what's in yours?

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  1. did you detect any "nuttiness" in the flavor? i'm wondering if they thickened it with a bit of tahini. the spicy aspect might be a little harder to nail down...

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Ah, tahini might be a possibility. I was thinking maybe a bit of mustard as well... Thanks!

      1. re: Garris

        always happy to help! i often use mustard to thicken/emulsify my dressings (and of course add flavor), but an Israeli recipe is more likely to contain mustard seed than prepared mustard.

        you might also want to add a bit of toasted ground cumin and hot paprika.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I asked my wife about this, and she said it definitely didn't have tahini (which she loves). The one we tried also certainly didn't have cumin or paprika. The search continues...

    2. Was it fattouch? That has sumac in the dressing.

      1. I doubt that this would be a "strong" taste or a "spicy" salad, but I add some sauerkraut, and also often use tahina for a dressing.

        As far as strong flavors, my father loved s'chug on his falafel (Israeli salad being a major component of a falafel sandwich), while it made my eyes tear up. S'chug is a Yemenite condiment often added - at the customer's request - to a falafel sandwich. It is extremely strong, though. I don't think a caterer would add s'chug to a salad without warning the diners. But still, maybe OP got a portion that had a bit of s'chug on it.

        1. Was the salad garlicky? Sometimes garlic gives that spicy feel on the tongue. Wonder if it had a tiny touch of full fat yogurt in it.

          1. I've seen some recipes that contain one or a combination of these spices: red pepper, powdered sumac za'atar spice mix.