Last Updated on September 19, 2023
Also known as Israeli salad, Jerusalem salad – is a delicious salad dish that consists of tomato, cucumber, parsley, and red onion.
A vibrant salad pairs well with Middle Eastern food like a Falafel pita sandwich.
If you’re looking to swap out the donuts for fresh red onion and juicy, crunchy cucumbers, this is the dish for you!
Jerusalem Salad Recipe (Israeli Salad)
Jerusalem Salad (aka Israeli Salad) is a cucumber tomato salad originally from the Middle East.
It’s a simple salad dish that is naturally vegan, and paleo, and it has a fascinating background behind it.
After the original conception of East-Mediterranean or Persian cucumber salad recipes, such as Iranian Shirazi salad, Lebanese Fattoush, and Sumac Salad, tomatoes were introduced to Israel.
The funny thing is, that Jerusalem salad is the name often called by people outside of Israel.
Most people commonly refer to this dish as Israeli Salad and Salat Katzutz (literally translated as “Israeli vegetable salad” or Arabic salad).
The origins of the Jerusalem Salad trace back to mid-19th century Israel. Tomatoes are not native to the area and were imported from South America through trade.
However, Jewish immigrants brought this cucumber and tomato salad worldwide when many Jewish families started farming in their new homeland.
The expansion of farming within their community gave way to a surplus of veggies, and original Israeli Salad recipes include tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, spices, and salts.
From there, we get the spiced cucumber onion tomato salad that we know and love today.
Ingredients You Need
As you may notice I didn’t use lemon juice in the dressing but sumac. Because I like the fruity sweet and sour taste of sumac.
What’s sumac? Sumac is dried wild berry ground, therefore it has a lemony and tart flavor. It’s a very common seasoning in Middle-Eastern cuisines.
When paired with Persian cucumbers – which mellows out and provides a lively fresh taste.
Now, some Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad recipes choose to add a few more ingredients like lime juice, vinegar, ginger, and peppers.
Even creamy salad dressing like lemon herb tahini or vegan tzatziki sauce to kick up the flavor. But, if this is your first time trying it, I suggest sticking with our Jerusalem Salad recipe before experimenting.
How to Make Jerusalem Salad
It is easy to make cucumber tomato salad recipe.
First, you take all your vegetables and chop them into small pieces.
That’s said, the finer diced the vegetables are, the more impressive your dish becomes – so keep this in mind when chopping and dicing.
Traditionally, there is no need to peel cucumbers.
- First, chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions into small dice, and also finely chop the parsley with the stem removed. Place all the prepared ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Secondly, add seasonings – extra-virgin olive oil, sumac, lemon zest, salt, and pepper into the bowl, and toss everything together until all the ingredients are well combined. Do a taste test and adjust the lemon zest, salt, and pepper to your liking- and voila! 😉
Can you Prepare Jerusalem Salad Ahead?
The answer is Yes but with a condition. Chop all vegetables and arrange them separately in sections without mixing (chopped tomatoes contain a lot of water and will make other vegetables soggy).
As long as they’re stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they’ll last for up to 3-4 days.
Add the dressing and mix prior to serving. By doing this, your salad will stay fresh and crunchy.
Variations & What to Serve With
In Israeli restaurants and cafes, Jerusalem salad is an independent side dish, or as an accompaniment to main dishes. Usually paired with falafels, yogurt-based dressings, gyros, pita bread, shawarma, or even with hummus.
🍲 Falafels have garlic, white onion, cumin, and cayenne pepper added into dried chickpeas, giving the dish a spicy kick that pairs well with Jerusalem Salad.
🍲 Gyros are flavorful wraps that you can eat alongside Jerusalem salad, served alongside a fresh bowl of salad and hummus for a meal that will definitely stick to you.
Check the combination of falafels and gyro here: Falafel Gyro with vegan tzatziki.
🍲 Feel free to add Dairy-free sour cream to your Jerusalem Salad as a breakfast option and is a favorite amongst Greek households.
Coconut yogurt or soy yogurt would blend beautifully with the Sumac seasoning.
🍲 Jerusalem Salad as a fresh salsa would hit the spot as a light lunch option! Add a few pita bread chips and sautéed chickpeas and rice to give it bulk. Enjoy a refreshing break from fast food.
Possibilities are endless here, which makes this dish the most versatile, number one cucumber tomato onion salad recipe to add to your weekly fixins’. Happy dining!
Hope you like this easy Jerusalem salad (Israeli salad)! 😊
More Delicious Salad Ideas
- 4 cup Persian Cucumber or 3 medium-sized ones. Small diced
- 2 cup Roma Tomato or 3 large tomatoes
- 2 cup Parsley flat leave parsley. Stem removed and finely chopped.
- 1 cup Red Onion peeled and finely diced
- First, chop tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions into small dices, and also finely chop the parsley with the stem removed. Place all the prepared ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Secondly, add seasonings – extra-virgin olive oil, sumac, lemon zest, salt, and pepper into the bowl, toss everything together until all the ingredients well combined. Do a taste test and adjust the lemon zest, salt and pepper to your liking- and voila!😉
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