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Jul 15, 2011 06:01 AM

Looking for another side dish/app

We're having a dinner party tomorrow night. The theme is Eastern Mediterranean, mostly Israeli with some other influences. I'm looking for another side dish or appetizer. Right now, the menu looks like this:

Tunisian sliders with caramelized red onions and harissa mayo
Israeli salad
Homemade hummus with assorted olives, pita chips, zchug
Cinnamon garlic chicken (kinda like shawarma)
Israeli couscous with peppers and dried fruits

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  1. A green bean dish, perhaps using flat Italian green beans, simmered in a tomato sauce with garlic, cumin and hot red pepper.

    Or do a similar dish with eggplant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AdinaA

      That sounds like a nice complement. What should I use for the tomato sauce? Plain tomato sauce? tomato paste and water?

      1. re: DeisCane

        Chopped fresh tomatoes, or canned or boxed. I prefer Pomi brand, I think it tastes closest to good fresh ones. But use whichever can of crushed that your havet on hand. You can add a little paste if you need thickening. The traditional Mediterranean method is to simmer green beans until they are quite soft. They are very good that way, and it is an interesting ans authentic contrast to the tender-crisp texture that is more popular now. Also, use olive oil.

    2. One of the best salads I made last summer was from chowhound Mangos with Jicama (you add some salt, chili powder and lime juice).

      What about tabouleh? From the's easy.

      5 Replies
      1. re: vallevin

        I don't typically associate mangoes or jicama with Israeli food. :-)
        I may try the green beans idea. Thanks all!

        1. re: DeisCane

          True, but keep it in mind for another time. It is a GREAT salad combination. For the dressing, I like a very small pour of coconut milk, no other oil needed (freeze the rest of the can, no waste) with curry powder, chopped cilantro, salt optional. But the way vallevin says is good , too.

          I wonder how Trader Joe's frozen mango pieces work in salad. Hmmm. I may run a trial on that.

          1. re: AdinaA

            I used TJ's frozen mango pieces in a Cuban-inspired salad I made three weeks ago. With avocados, onions, lime juice and a bit of cilantro.

            1. re: DeisCane

              Excellent. I'm all about ways to reduce the peeling and chopping without sacrificing flavor.

              1. re: AdinaA

                That was exactly my thinking. It was a big help...and it kept the salad nice and cold on a hot night.

      2. Matbucha, Moroccan eggplant, babaganoush, stuffed grape leaves/peppers/onion/eggplant/zucchini

        1. I really like this eggplant dish by Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli chef with popular (non-kosher) take-away stores in the UK and two very nice cookbooks. This is roasted eggplant marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro, and served with tahini sauce.

          2 Replies
          1. re: serenarobin

            I made the Egyptian string bean dish and it was great. We had way too much food though and it was totally unnecessary. Lol.

            1. re: DeisCane

              I do that all the time. The advantage, of course, is that you won't have to cook tonight!