Jerusalem Salad, also known as Arabic Salad, is probably older than the city that gave it its name.
Salad is one of those things that is on the menu with almost every meal in an Arab home.
The diet in the Middle East always consisted of plenty of fruits and vegetables.
This is just one of the factors which explains the healthy aspect of the Mediterranean diet.
We always had lots of fruits and vegetables growing up, our snacks were things like tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.
This is by far one of my favorite salads ever, and it is the simplest of the simple ones to make.
The simplest food is so often the best food in the vast majority of cases.
All the freshness of the vegetables on one plate leaves you loving this salad.
What is Jerusalem Salad?
Jerusalem salad originated as a Palestinian salad that had been around for generations.
A traditionally peasant salad eaten by everyone who enjoys a good salad from the produce grown on the land.
In its simplest form it is made of cucumber, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
Over the years others began to inhabit Jerusalem, and there are now several versions of this salad.
The recipe I am sharing is a Palestinian recipe that my grandmother got from her grandmother.
I remember my grandmother making this salad at her home in Jerusalem, without any measurements.
We would ask her: “Siti, how do you know how much to put in?”
And she’d say “my siti (grandmother) showed me how much.”
She would say it as if that is all you needed to know when it came to food measurements.
This was from a time when you learned things in your head she would say, we didn’t need to write things down.
My grandmother never did learn to read or write, but she could cook like nobody’s business.
She never liked our blenders or mixers, no place for modern machines she would say.
The machines couldn’t feel the food after all, and so why clutter your kitchen would be her question.
How to Make Jerusalem Salad
Dice cucumbers, tomatoes and onions, white or red onions, as you prefer, and add to a large mixing bowl.
In the Middle East people use what are known as Persian cucumbers, which are shorter than most European varieties.
English cucumbers can also be used very readily, and will provide just as good a flavor.
Use what you find at your local farmer’s market, and you can even throw in a bell pepper too.
Chop the mint and parsley, add to a large mixing bowl along with olive oil, salt and pepper if desired.
Add all the vegetables, and stir, adding lemon juice to finish this Middle Eastern salad recipe.
You can make this salad hours before serving as long as you keep it in the fridge.
Also don’t add the lemon juice, olive oil or salt until you are ready to serve it.
Tips for Making
- Getting the lemon juice and olive oil mix for your own preference means trying different amounts.
- You want the vegetables to be cut up into small, but not too small pieces for best results.
- Spring onions can be a good onion to add to this salad as a delicious alternative.
What to Serve This Salad With
Traditionally this salad goes really well with rice dishes that are also served with yogurt as a side dish.
Dishes like mujadara, maqluba, or even lamb and rice dishes.
This is a really good salad that very often goes along with a Middle Eastern mezze meal or as an appetizer.
But that is not all, it really goes well with so many things, or even as a salad on its own.
Jerusalem Salad Recipe
- 2 Tomatoes diced
- 2 Cucumbers diced
- 8 Green Onions sliced
- ½ cup Fresh Mint chopped
- ½ cup Fresh Parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ tsp Salt
- Dice, slice, and chop all vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
- Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.