top of page

In Israel, Appetizers Are a Dish Best Served Cold

By: Justin Cohen

What are salatim, you may ask? Salatim (סלטים) is the Hebrew plural of the word for salad, salat (סלט). Salatim are the many small plates of a good Israeli meal. Whether it’s hummus, baba ghanoush, or a bunch of pickled carrots, salatim are at the core of Israeli, and more broadly Middle Eastern, cuisine. They are usually cold and can be pickled or spiced vegetables, smooth dips, super spicy sauces, or anything else that can fit onto a small plate. All over Israel there are restaurants that specialize in salatim, one of the most well known being Tel Aviv’s The Old Man and the Sea.

Recipe: Israeli Salad with Farro

Notes: This is a recipe that I like to make when I have the time and the ingredients. Israeli Salad is not explicitly Israeli as there are many varieties across the region.


1 cucumber, finely diced

1 red onion, finely diced

1 tomato, finely diced

½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped (leaves and all)

1 cup farro + amount of water needed to prepare

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

salt to taste

feta (if you like - I don’t!)


Cook the farro according to what the package says. I don’t know how to do it by memory, but it’s similar to how quinoa is prepared. When it is done, set it aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine the chopped vegetables and parsley. Mix well. Then add the cooled farro and mix well. In a small bowl, cup, or measuring cup (I prefer this method), add the salt and liquid ingredients, lightly stir, and then add to the larger bowl. Mix well. If you like feta you can add feta, but for me it leaves a bad aftertaste. The salad is best served within a few hours after it’s prepared.

Recipe: Pickled Persian Cucumbers


About a dozen medium Persian cucumbers, cut however you’d like

(I recommend lengthwise into spears)

¼ cup white wine vinegar or any other vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoon kosher salt, and some more

2 tablespoons chopped dill

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Add cucumbers to a decent-sized bowl, then add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and the salt. Toss a few times and then chill for up to 6 hours. When ready to serve, add the chopped dill and lemon juice, and toss. Add more salt if you think it’s needed. Enjoy!

Justin Cohen is a sophomore in the School of International Service with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. In his free time Justin enjoys cooking.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page