Cherry Salad

2 July 2024 Dairy Free Gluten Free Vegetarian Friendly
This might just be the salad that changed my life. Or at least made my summer a whole lot better……

Ha Basta is always my first stop in Tel Aviv. So when I realised that my last trip collided with the beginning of cherry season and I could finally taste their legendary salad, I could barely contain my excitement. 

Without even unpacking, I hot footed it straight over after I landed for the opening of dinner shift with my sister and Stevie the Wonder Dog in tow. I came for the Cherry Salad. A dish made famous by the Ha Basta team, the original Lali Salad is a recipe by Hila Alpert, whose family Kibbutz were the first to grow cherries in Israel. Now found in many discerning kitchens across the globe during the season (including at my favourite Shukette), you too can also reap the benefits of this magical concoction. 

There’s a wealth of surprises on this simple plate made up of a few ingredients. You may even raise an eyebrow when you read them…..but trust me. The sweetness of the cherries, heat of the chili, aroma of garlic, acidity of lime and the citrus-sy coriander leaves all marry together for a subtle, tantalisingly delicious summer treat and glorious side to just about anything. 

The OG Lali Salad has no citrus (unlike the Ha Basta version which has a good hit of lemon) and I used confit garlic instead of raw and added lime because I adore it here. Apart from those minor changes, the recipe below pretty much honours the Hila Alpert & Ha Basta version. Because it’s basically the closest thing to perfect you might ever taste.

I cannot wait for you to make it.  

Paired with a creamy labeneh or salty whipped feta, this also makes a fantastic canapé or open sandwich. 

If you are coriander averse, parsley, mint or dill also work but if you can tolerate it, coriander is my personal favourite.

If you are cooking for a larger crowd, or want to make this into a more substantial side, add some grilled peach slices or some torn burrata.

This salad (like the best of us) is best served chilled (I might have forgotten to mention that in the video…..)

(It will hold for a little while dressed in the fridge so no last minute panic necessary)

Cherry Salad

  • 750g (1.5lbs) cherries
  • 1 green chili/ jalapeño (or an extra one depending on their heat)
  • 1 lime, zest & juice (have an extra on hand in case you need more when you taste)
  • 2 confit garlic cloves (or crushed raw garlic)
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil or garlic oil
  • a good healthy pinch of sea salt
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves washed & picked from the stems

Stone the cherries, either with a cherry stoner or by cutting in half and removing the stone. You can also do this with a chop stick, using it to pierce the stone, but it can be messy………

In the bottom of a medium size bowl, make the dressing. Slice the chili finely and place in the bowl, removing the seeds if they are very hot. Please taste your chili, they vary massively in heat even if they look the same to the naked eye. I always like to have an extra on hand in case it’s too mild and I want to add a little extra).

Zest and juice the lime over the sliced chili. Add the confit garlic cloves gently crushed with a fork or the crushed raw garlic and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Let everything hang out together in the lime juice to mellow for a few minutes.

Pour in the olive oil or garlic oil from the confit garlic if you have any and stir the dressing. Add the cherries and the coriander leaves and stir everything together so it’s fully coated with the dressing. Reserve a few coriander leaves for garnish.

Chill until ready to serve

You can either make this in a shallow serving bowl and avoid any extra washing up, or make the salad in a bowl and once it’s had a little chill time, decant onto a flat serving plate with a rim (to catch any juice). Give it a final taste for seasoning, sprinkle over the remaining coriander leaves and share with those you love.

Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on