Recipe: Israeli Salad
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Kristen Jovanelly, garden educator and manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
We’re cruising into autumn, folks. Maybe you don’t want to admit it, and you grit your teeth jumping into lakes whispering to yourself, “yes, this is warm, I love this!” But even I know that the first turning maple leaves are not anomalies. They are, in fact, indicators of blazing reds and burnt oranges filling up our eyes as we blow warm air onto our stiff, cold fingers. On the farm, this is truly one of the most bountiful times of the year. The wash room is piled high with peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon that foreshadow the autumn colors as well. So what do we do with this bounty?
This Israeli salad is a perfect meeting point between seasons. It showcases our summer heat-loving crops like tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, and makes use of some fast-growing fall crops, like that crunchy radish thriving again in cooler soil. These cool summer flavors meet the warmth of toasted cumin seeds, an intimation of cooler autumn meals to come. Israeli salad pairs well with most savory warm summer dishes, particularly those teaming with Middle Eastern flavors, like shakshuka or a chickpea stew.
1 red onion, diced
2 large cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and diced
3 large tomatoes or equivalent amount of cherry tomatoes, deseeded and diced
2 bell peppers, deseeded and diced
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine all of the diced vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.