Israeli Salad

This is one of my many, many favorite salads. It is, of course, better in the summer with ripe, homegrown (or farmer’s market) produce. However, even in the winter it is still delicious and balances out the abundance of comfort food at this time of year. I like to serve it for Hanukkah to counter the fried latkes and heavy brisket. It’s also welcome at other Jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur Break the Fast. Whenever you serve it, it will be gobbled up.

Israeli SaladIsraeli Salad

  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (red, orange or green)
  • 1 large handful Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, peppers and parsley in a bowl. Add lemon juice and olive oil and mix gently. Season generously to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Happy Hanukkah everyone! Here is a fabulous recipe to serve with your latkes as an alternative to brisket. And, if you aren’t making latkes, the meatballs are great with wide egg noodles. The original recipe came from one of my favorite Jewish holiday cookbooks, In the Jewish Tradition

Sweet and Sour MeatballsSweet & Sour Meatballs a la Suzanne

  • 2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lg. white onion, minced (4 Tbsp. reserved)
  • 1 small green pepper, diced, optional
  • ½ cup golden raisins, optional
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup matzah meal
  • cup water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 Tbsp. minced onion (reserved from above)
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • tsp. allspice

Combine all sauce ingredients, from tomato sauce through raisins, in a large, heavy-bottom pot. I use my cast iron Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.

While sauce is cooking, make the meatballs. Thoroughly combine the beef, matzah meal, water, egg, onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper and allspice. Form into small meatballs (about the size of golf balls).

Once the sauce is at a boil add the meatballs. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 45 min to 1 hour depending on the size of your meatballs.

Notes: the matzah meal is very important but if you can’t find it you can substitute dried bread crumbs.

I served the meatballs with latkes (from a mix) and an Israeli salad.

Hanukkah table