Five Great Israeli Recipes to
Add to Your Weekday Menus


Israeli food is a melting pot of flavors, a combination of North African, Middle Eastern, Western and Eastern European cuisines. But there is one thing that seems to tie these recipes together is the use of the freshest ingredients – particularly fruits and vegetables – grown in the warm Mediterranean climate. 

Here are a few recipes we’ve collected from our Ashkelon friends. Enjoy! 


 Tabouleh Salad by June Narunsky, Ashkelon resident  

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous  
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced  
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil  
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley  
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro  
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint  
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced  
  • 3 scallions, chopped  

Directions  

  1. Bring a medium-size saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the couscous and set aside to cool.  
  1. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  
  1. In a large serving bowl, mix the couscous, parsley, cilantro, mint, tomatoes, and scallions. Toss with the vinaigrette and season to taste. Allow it to sit for at least a half hour so the flavors can marry.  

Roasted String Beans and Garlic June Narunsky, Ashkelon Resident  

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. fresh string beans  
  • 3 cloves garlic  
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil  

Directions 

  1. Snip ends off string beans. Place in bag, coat with olive oil and minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper.  

2. Place in oven (350ºF) or under broiler in single layer, on a cookie sheet or broiling pan, until slightly wrinkled. Longer depending on how done you like your veggies. Hint: cover pan with aluminum foil for simple and easy clean-up!  

Roasted Potatoes and Onions June Narunsky, Ashkelon resident  

Ingredients 

  • 3 potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick  
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rings  
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped  
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil  
  • Salt and pepper  

Directions  

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray or grease lightly with olive oil.  
  1. Put a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish, top with a layer of onion, sprinkle with garlic, drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over it, then season with salt and pepper. Repeat until all potatoes and onion are used.  
  1. Bake about 35-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  

French Green Bean Salad Nicole Rosenberg, Ashkelon resident  

Ingredients 

  • 4 handfuls French beans, stalk ends removed * 
  • 2-3 heaping Tsp. French mustard, to taste  
  • 2 Tbsp. good-quality white wine vinegar  
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil  
  • Sea salt  
  • Freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped  
  • 1 Tbsp. capers (optional)  
  • ½ clove garlic, finely grated  
  • 1 small handful fresh chervil (optional)  

*Keep your eyes open for different color beans – green, yellow or black – as a mixture will make it even more interesting. And when preparing them, leave the wispy ends on as they look so nice.  

Directions  

  1. Bring a pan of water to a fast boil, add your beans, put a lid on the pan, and cook for at least 4 to 5 minutes.  
  1. Place the mustard and vinegar bowl and, while stirring, add the olive oil to make a good hot French dressing. Season carefully with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the finely chopped shallot, the capers if you’re using them and the garlic.  
  1. Remove one of the beans from the pan to check if it’s cooked. If it holds its shape but is also soft to the bite, it’s perfect. Drain, then dress the beans while they are hot.  

Serve beans warm, sprinkled with chervil if you like – it’s a delicate, crunchy herb that goes well with beans. Serve as a salad or as an accompaniment to a main meal.  

Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs by Julie Newman, Adapted from Food Network  

Ingredients  

Couscous 

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil  
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)  
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth  
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley  
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Chopped fresh rosemary leaves  
  • 1 Tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves  
  • 1 medium green apple, diced  
  • 1 cup dried cranberries  
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, see Cook’s Note  

Vinaigrette  

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple syrup  
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt  
  • 1/2 Tsp. freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  

Directions 

For the couscous:  

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.  
  1. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries and almonds.  

For the vinaigrette:  

  1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.  
  1. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth.  
  1. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.  

 
Cook’s Note:  To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.  

Huppit Bartov’s Shakshuka  

Every Israeli has a great shakshuka recipe. Here is Baltimorean (and former Ashkelonean) Huppit Bartov’s 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1 small onion 
  • 1 Tbsp. Harissa or dry red chili flakes 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 10 sweet ripe tomatoes or 1 large can of Italian crushed tomatoes* 
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar  
  • 1 tbs. salt 
  • 1 Tbsp. dry sweet paprika 
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika in oil 
  • 1 tsp. black pepper 
  • ¼ tsp. cumin 
  • 6 eggs 
  • Parsley for garnish 
  • Bread to sop up sauce 

Directions

1. Sauté onions for 3-5 minutes. Add Harissa/chili flakes in olive oil, then add garlic last to make sure it doesn’t burn and turn bitter.  

2. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and spices. Stir often and cook for about ten minutes.  

3. When sauce is ready, Create a “hole” in your sauce revealing the bottom of your saucepan and add the eggs, one egg at a time. Add eggs all around the saucepan. Cover pot and cook eggs in sauce for 5-7 minutes. 

4. Add chopped parsley on top. Serve with bread to sop up the sauce. 

*Make sure there is only ONE ingredient in the can- fresh red ripe tomatoes. 

Potatoes Levivot by Revital Shimoni, wife of former Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium size onions 
  • 4-5 medium potatoes 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Pinch of black peeper  
  • 3 Tbsp. flour  
  • Vegetable oil for frying  

Directions 

  1. Chop onions to thin pieces. 
  1. Peel and grate potatoes on a grater. Squeeze in your hands. Add to bowl with chopped onions. 
  1. Add the rest of ingredients: eggs, flour and spices. Mix well. 
  1. Heat oil in deep frying pan. (The oil should reach half heights of the latkes.) You can use olive oil, but make sure not to burn it. 
  1. Make little flat ball shapes. Squeeze again, and fry 4-5 minutes from each side. Make sure the oil is not too hot; the latkes should be golden brown. 
  1. Serve immediately with sour cream, yogurt or white cheese with chopped chives or parsley. 


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