Israeli Salad (AKA Arab Salad)
Chopped cucumber and tomato cold dish, often served for breakfast. it is described as the "most well-known national dish of Israel. Israeli salad can typically be found at the many falafel street stands all over Israel. It is served on its own as a side dish or inside a pita sandwich wrap. Goes great in a pita with falafel, hummus, and tahini, but also works as a side dish with any middle eastern, Greek, or even north African food.
Popularized in Israel by the kibbutzim, variations on the basic recipe have been made by the different Jewish communities to immigrate to the country. For example, Jews from India prepare it with the addition of finely chopped ginger and green chili peppers, North African Jews may add preserved lemon peel and cayenne pepper, and Bukharan Jews chop the vegetables extremely finely and use vinegar, without oil, in the dressing.
Israeli salad is usually made of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parsley, often complemented with green or red peppers, and dressed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper. Generally, the cucumbers are not peeled. The key is using very fresh vegetables and chopping them as finely as possible. The ability to chop the tomatoes and cucumbers into the "finest, most perfect dice" is considered a mark of status among many kibbutz cooks. Variations include salads made with the addition of grated carrot, finely shredded cabbage, sliced radish, fennel, spring onions, chives, and other herbs such as mint, za'atar or sumac.
Israeli salad is served as an independent side dish, as an accompaniment to main dishes, or stuffed in a pita with falafel or shawarma. It was part of the traditional Israeli breakfast at home before Western-style breakfast cereals became popular, and remains a standard feature at buffet breakfasts at Israeli hotels, as well as in many homes.