Kid-friendly Israeli Chopped Salad Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Israeli Chopped Salad

Recipe: Israeli Chopped Salad

Israeli Chopped Salad

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Viktoriia Pletska2020/Shutterstock.com
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Israeli Chopped Salad

This salad is light, crunchy, and bursting with lemony brightness! We recommend serving it as a standalone salad or pairing it with a hearty soup or casserole!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • taste :

    to put a bit of food or drink in your mouth to determine whether more of an ingredient is needed to improve the flavor.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Citrus juicer (optional)
  • Wooden spoon
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Israeli Chopped Salad

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Israeli Chopped Salad

1.
chop + measure

Chop 3 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, and 2 green onions into a small dice. Combine the chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Then, measure 2 tablespoons of olive oil and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and add them to the veggies in the bowl.

2.
mix + taste

Mix up the salad with a wooden spoon (or two). Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.

Surprise Ingredient: Cucumber!

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Photo by Taras Grebinets/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Cucumber!

"I'm as cool as a cucumber. Actually, I am a cucumber! I have a thick, dark green peel; I am longer than I am wide; and I am a fruit that's often used as a veggie! There are three types of cucumbers: slicing, pickling, and burpless. The slicing and burpless varieties, with or without their peels, are tasty and refreshing sliced, chopped, or minced in salads, sandwiches, salsa, sauces, appetizers, and smoothies or other drinks. The pickling cucumber eventually becomes a pickle (after its pickling spa treatment)!"

History & Etymology

  • Cucumbers are one of the oldest known cultivated vegetables. They have been grown for at least 3,000 years and are believed to have originated in India. 
  • The early Greeks or Romans may have introduced cucumbers to Europe. Records indicate that the French cultivated them in the 9th century and the English in the 14th century. Then Spanish explorers brought cucumbers to the Americas in the 16th century. 
  • Pickled cucumbers, or pickles, may have been produced first by workers building the Great Wall of China or by people in Mesopotamia's Tigris Valley. 
  • A 1630 book called "New England's Plantation" by Francis Higginson, describing plants grown in a garden on Conant's Island in Boston Harbor, mentions "cowcumbers." The cucumber may have been dubbed cowcumber due to thinking at that time that uncooked vegetables were fit only for cows.
  • The word "cucumber" comes from late Middle English, from the Old French "cocombre," from the Latin "cucumis."

Anatomy

  • The cucumber is a creeping vine plant that is part of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Other members are melon, squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Cucumbers grow on a vine, often in sandy soil. Sandy soil warms faster in the spring, giving cucumbers a more favorable growing environment. 
  • Cucumber length varies. Slicers are 6 to 8 inches, burpless 8 to 10 inches, and picklers are 3 to 5 inches long. 
  • Cucumbers have a mild melon flavor. Slicing cucumbers will have seeds in their flesh, preferably small, soft seeds. Burpless cucumbers are slightly sweeter with a more tender skin and are easier to digest. They may also have no or very few seeds.
  • "Cool as a cucumber" isn't just a catchy phrase. A cucumber's inner temperature can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. This is because it consists mainly of water, which also applies to watermelons, and it takes more energy to heat the water inside the cucumber than the air around it. No wonder these are such summertime favorites! However, we don't say "as cool as a watermelon," so how did this expression become part of our vocabulary? It may have come from a poem in John Gay's Poems, New Song on New Similes from 1732. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Cucumbers are ready to be harvested 50 to 70 days after planting. They are ripe when they are firm and bright or dark green. Slicing cucumbers will be six to eight inches long. Avoid leaving them on the vine too long, or their taste may become bitter and their rind tougher. 
  • At the store, look for firm cucumbers without blemishes, wrinkles, or soft spots. Organic cucumbers are the best choice to avoid pesticide residue, if available. In addition, washing them reduces the amount of residue and pathogens. 
  • If you don't eat your fresh, uncut cucumbers immediately, store them in your refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag for up to three days if unwaxed and up to a week if waxed. 
  • You can eat slicing and burpless cucumbers by themselves, slice or chop them into salads, or blend them into sauces and smoothies. 
  • Pickling cucumbers are pickled whole or sliced in brine, sugar, vinegar, and spices. There are several kinds of pickles, such as sweet, bread-and-butter, gherkin, and kosher dill. 

Nutrition

  • Cucumbers are 96 percent water, have very little fat, and are low in calories. 
  • Cucumbers contain small amounts of the vitamins you need every day and 16 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.

 

Let's Learn About Israel!

Photo by Haley Black
  • The State of Israel is a Middle East country. The Mediterranean Sea borders it to the west, Lebanon to its north, Syria to its northeast, Jordan to its east, and Egypt to its southwest.
  • Jerusalem is Israel's capital and largest city. 
  • The official language is Hebrew, but the Arabic language is also recognized.
  • The government of Israel is a unitary parliamentary republic and has a president, prime minister, and a legislature called the Knesset. Their currency is the Israeli shekel.
  • The country's total land area, according to Israeli law, is 8,522 square miles; however, the entire area under Israeli control, which includes the Palestinian-governed West Bank, is 10,733 square miles. The population is over 9.5 million. The majority of residents are Jewish, about 74 percent, and Arabs make up about 20 percent. 
  • The northernmost part of the country is snowy and covered in mountains, while the southern part is made up mostly of desert.
  • Israel's northern and coastal regions are hot and dry in the summers and cool and rainy in the winters. 
  • Israel's Dead Sea is the lowest spot on Earth, at 1,315 feet below sea level at its lowest point! This sea is saltier than ocean water and, as a result, you could easily float in it. However, animals cannot flourish in this salty environment. Other salt lakes around the world are in Djibouti (Africa), Utah, and McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica). 
  • Wildlife in Israel is amazingly beautiful and varied. It includes the Arabian oryx, the Fire salamander, the Sand cat, the Arabian leopard, the Middle East tree frog, the Caracal, the Marbled polecat, the Mountain gazelle, and the Syrian spadefoot toad.
  • Israel is known as one of the world's leading exporters and growers of flowers. The climate is not, however, appropriate for growing vanilla orchids.
  • Per capita, Israel has more museums than any other city in the world. There is even an underwater museum at the site of a once-prominent port town. Visitors have to wear wetsuits, naturally.
  • Israeli inventions include USB flash drives and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP).
  • An ice cream shop in Jaffa created hummus ice cream! The average Israeli eats about 2.6 gallons of ice cream per year, compared to 1.6 gallons per capita in Italy, the home of gelato!
  • Israeli cuisine consists of local dishes and those brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from other countries. Many of these immigrants came from Europe, Africa, and other places in the Middle East. About one-half of Israeli Jews eat kosher, which means food prepared according to Jewish law. 
  • Shakshuka and other egg dishes are common for breakfast, along with fresh vegetables, fruits, salads, breads, and pastries. "Salat katzutz" (Israeli chopped salad) is a well-known dish in Israel. This chopped salad can be eaten by itself or added with hard-boiled eggs, fried eggplant slices, "amba" (pickled mango), and tahini sauce to pita bread to make a "sabich" sandwich.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Israel?

  • Education is very important in Israel, and school is required for children ages 3 to 18. Kids may attend a state secular or religious (Jewish) school, an ultraorthodox Jewish school, or an Arab school. Language proficiency in Hebrew and English is required for high schoolers to get their Bagrut certificate to go on to higher education.
  • Soccer is the most popular sport for kids and basketball the second-most popular. They may also participate in tennis, swimming, gymnastics, and more. One of the traditional games kids play is Three Sticks. It involves jumping between three sticks laid on the ground that get moved further apart after each attempt. The goal is to not step on a stick or jump more than once in the space in-between. 
  • Families observe Jewish holidays in Israel, including Hanukkah and Passover, and they also celebrate "Yom Ha'atzmaut," which is Israel Independence Day, which took place in May 1948.
  • Kids' lunches might include hummus in a pita or a white cheese, egg, or tuna sandwich. They also have raw veggies, like cucumber, carrots, or tomatoes. They may snack on Bamba (peanut-butter-flavored corn puffs) or Krembo (chocolate-covered marshmallow on a cookie base), and favorite desserts may be "babka" (a sweet braided bread or cake) and "rugalach" (a filled crescent-shaped pastry).

THYME for a Laugh

Why was the cucumber mad? 

Because it was in a pickle!

Lettuce Joke Around

What’s green and very noisy? 

A cucumber playing a drum!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the tomato blush? 

Because he saw the salad dressing!

THYME for a Laugh

How does a cucumber become a pickle? 

It goes through a jarring experience!

The Yolk's On You

What did one pickle say to the other? 

"You mean a great dill to me."

That's Berry Funny

How do you fix a broken tomato? 

Tomato paste!

Lettuce Joke Around

"Doctor, doctor, I’ve got carrots growing out of my ears! How did that happen?"

"I don’t know, I planted cucumbers there!"

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a pickle lullaby? 

A cucumber slumber number.

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