It so happens that I come from a family of salad eaters. It’s as if salad/veggies are genetically embedded in our own peculiar DNA–like a green marker on the 23rd chromosome. As a teen, I lived with my tough as nails Israeli father (though my Mom can also happily eat her way through produce section) along with my teen sisters and a stray friend thrown in here and there. Poor Dad, one macho man outnumbered 4 to 1 by females–hormone-raging, adolescent females…I know, real shudder worthy. Shudder he did–internally, I guess…but he also did a ton of cooking. Nothing distracts from a gaggle of girls fighting over clothes, the bathroom and the phone (yes, I’m old) like the safety of the kitchen. Dad was newly single and would occasionally bring dates by and attempt to impress them with meals–the man could definitely cook. Though any hope of a gourmet dinner garnering him some love match points was quickly dashed by a table of cackling, teen mean girls who made it a favorite bloodsport to see who could get Bachelorette #1 to cry first…at the dinner table. Winner got bragging rights, $50 pool…and seconds, of course. Anyway, this delicious Israeli salad made the rounds a lot back then. It was, is and will forever remain a family favorite. I generally serve it with grilled chicken (light and healthy) and fresh bread. Really, it is excellent with baked or grilled fish, broiled meats or as a great vegetarian meal with Pita bread and store bought hummus. You can also add some Feta cheese to give it a nice accent.
Dad’s Legendary Israeli Salad
1/2 of a large cucumber
4 ripe roma tomatoes (you want to choose ones that are firm but ripe…lots of delicious juice is what really makes this salad pop)
1/2 a green pepper or hungarian pepper
1/2 a medium onion
1 garlic tooth
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of light olive oil
Dice the first six ingredients (you can go with a fine or thicker dice, whatever your preference) and place in large salad bowl. Press or finely chop garlic and add to bowl. Squeeze in lemon juice and add vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix everything gently. I like to refrigerate slightly (10-15 minutes), as I like this salad a bit chilled but you can also serve at room temperature.