In my last Instagram story vegan recipe poll, you requested a Middle Eastern dish, so here’s a simple and slightly spicy one: Israeli Salad. Personally I didn’t grow up liking spicy food, but traveling helped build my tolerance!
This salad for two packs 24g of protein per serving. Pretty powerful for a vegan salad, eh? The ingredients include roasted garbanzo beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, za’atar-spiced tahini sauce, bahārāt seasoning, sumac-herb lemon dressing, and more goodies (see the video below to watch how it’s done).
So let’s talk about what gives this its Middle Eastern twist.
WHAT IS BAHARAT?
Baharat is a traditional spice used in Middle Eastern cooking. Although the word baharat means “spices” in Arabic, it’s actually not just one spice, but rather a blend of many spices. For this salad recipe, you’ll be using it to season the garbanzo beans.
The particular spices that are included in any baharat blend vary by region, but if you want to make your own, you can generally expect to include black pepper, coriander, paprika, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, and cinnamon. No salt needed! If you want to buy it online, this vegan Turkish baharat spice blend has great reviews.
WHAT IS ZA’ATAR?
The other part of this recipe that transforms this into an Israeli-inspired dish is the za’atar-spiced tahini sauce used to dip your pita bread in. Za’atar is traditionally a popular Israeli herb that dates back many years.
Pronounced zah-tar, this incredibly pungent spice blend combines toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried marjoram, and sumac. Though the name “za’atar” actually means “thyme” in Arabic, the blend incorporates various herby flavors in an aromatic concoction that is as yummy as it is versatile.
It’s an earthy mix of spices you can easily make yourself. If you want to make your own, simply combine equal amounts of dried oregano, minced fresh thyme, and marjoram. Use double the amount of sumac, and half the amount of toasted sesame seeds. Add coarse salt, stir together, and you’ve got your very own homemade za’atar. Combine it with tahini and create your own za’atar-spiced tahini sauce. Or you could try ordering this one.
WHAT IS SUMAC?
Finally, there’s sumac, which you’ll be using in the dressing for the salad. Sumac is a pleasantly sour spice ground from the berries of a wild bush native to the Mediterranean. It is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, being preferred to lemon for sourness and astringency.
Look for packages of it in Middle Eastern food shops or in the spice section of well-stocked grocery stores. You can make your own sumac vinaigrette by combining sunflower oil, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, sumac, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.
ISRAELI SALAD RECIPE
Serves 2 | VEGAN | 25g Protein| Cook Time: 35 Min
15 ½ oz Garbanzo Beans
1 ½ tbsp Bahārāt Seasoning
½ cup Za’atar-spiced Tahini Sauce
¼ cup Sumac-herb Lemon Dressing
1 Whole Cucumber
4 oz Grape Tomatoes
1 Whole Scallion
¼ oz Cilantro
¼ oz Parsley
1 Whole Whole-wheat Pita Bread
- Drizzle garbanzo beans with olive oil and season with baharat seasoning (add salt if needed). Roast for 20 minutes in the oven.
- Place diced cucumber, halved grape tomatoes, sliced scallion, chopped cilantro, and chopped parsley in a large bowl and drizzle with sumac vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Toast pita bread for 3 minutes and cut into 6-8 wedges.
- Serve by scooping salad into bowl, top with roasted garbanzo beans, sprinkle any leftover herbs, and have your pita wedges dipped in za’atar-spiced tahini sauce on the side! ENJOY!