A chunkier chopped salad like this one is in my opinion the perfect half-way-house solution and eliminates the old size argument. The allure of this dish is really that it is simply a celebration of the ingredients. The chunkier (yet still bite sized) vegetables and minimal leaves are visible and varied in shape, saluting their textures and colours and allowing the individual flavours to almost explode in your mouth.
Inspired by the market salads found all over Tel Aviv, this could definitely be considered more of a chunky salad than a traditional finely chopped Isreali number. The crunch of the kohlrabi and fennel, teamed with the juicy cucumbers, delicate courgette and the sweet herbs make this a welcome accompaniment to a BBQ feast, a simple piece of fish or more complex vegetarian main. The trick is to chop as little as possible. Use this as a springboard, replacing seasonal ingredients throughout the year.
The quantities here are a generous side for 4-6 people or a light lunch with some crusty sourdough on the side.
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 1 medium kohlrabi
- 2 small baby cucumbers or 1 large
- 1 small courgette
- a small bunch of radishes (approximated 8-10)
- 2 endive (we prefer red for colour)
- 1-2 handfuls of fresh herb leaves – mint, parsley, coriander, sorrel, marjoram, rocket, chopped chives or any other soft herb of choice
- 2 limes – juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Optional Additions / Toppings
- Toasted pistachios or pecans
- Marinated Feta or crumbled goats cheese
- Pickled red onions
Here are my suggestions for cutting the vegetables, but please feel free to exercise all creative freedom here and shape as you wish.
Slice the fennel in half lengthways through the core and remove the tough centre. Cut each half lengthways in to 4/6 long slim pieces (depending on the size of the fennel).
Peel the kohlrabi and slice into discs about 5mm thick. Then cut into matchsticks.
For the cucumbers, halve them lengthways and then slice on the diagonal.
Thinly slice the courgette (I like a mandolin for this)
Halve the radishes (or quarter depending on their size). When I use breakfast radishes here I cut them diagonally in half just for fun.
For the endive, either remove all the leaves individually or cut each head into 6/8 long pieces.
Wash the herbs thoroughly to remove the grit and separate the leaves from the stems leaving them as whole and in tact as possible.
Combine everything together in a large serving bowl and just before you are ready to eat, dress with the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Toss everything together with your hands until fully coated.
Have you made this dish?
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