This simple and delicious Israeli salad is a recipe that my family has made time and time again for our gatherings. Because you can make this salad ahead of time, it’s the perfect side dish to put together when entertaining. You’ll love this cold and refreshing salad and I guarantee your guests will too!
Have you ever heard of a salad that you can make in advance? Maybe you’ve made a pasta or potato salad that needs a good 24 hours for the flavors to blend together but that’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m talking about a traditional salad with lettuce and vegetables tossed in dressing.
Making a traditional salad ahead of time is usually a big no-no because the lettuce gets soggy. But what if I told you that soggy lettuce is exactly what you are wanting in this simple and delicious Israeli salad? Yes, soggy lettuce!
Seriously, don’t knock it till you try it. My mom has been making this salad for years and I knew I had to serve it at my most recent ladies’ night.
One of the first things I do in preparation for any party or get-together, and what I did for this event, was create the “perfect menu”. The “perfect menu” centers around the event that you are throwing. You want your food to match the event because serving Italian food at a Cinco De Mayo party is no bueño (not good for those of you who don’t speak español).
For my husband Patrick’s birthday party I stuck with a menu filled with appetizers. The party started after 9pm and was centered around a boxing match. I knew people would have eaten dinner already so I just wanted little bites for them to grab.
However, I created a completely different menu for my ladies’ night. Finger sandwiches and Israeli salad with zesty lemon bars for dessert just seemed more fitting for an all-female event.
This was also the “perfect menu” because all three items were able to be made ahead of time. I made them the morning of the get-together but you could also make them the night before. You need at least 4 hours for the flavors to come together for the salad so make sure you plan accordingly.
Making the food in the morning gave me enough time to clean my house before the ladies showed up. How fun… Not!
I don’t make this salad often but every time I do I ask myself why I don’t make it more. My mom has been making this Israeli salad since I was a child. Our family absolutely loves it! It’s probably because the salad is drenched in dressing. Leave it to my family to make something healthy the complete opposite. But hey, that’s how we roll 🙂
So what will you need to make this simple and delicious Israeli Salad?
1 head of iceberg lettuce (chopped), 2 tomatoes (chopped), 1 cucumber (chopped), ½ sweet onion (chopped), 1 bell pepper (chopped), 1 cup olive oil, ⅓ cup white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder
Chop all of the vegetables into tiny pieces and place in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour the dressing over the salad mixing as you are pouring. You want the salad to be very wet. Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator for no less than four hours but it can be made a day in advance.
A couple of tips for the Israeli salad:
- I used a spoon to scrape out the seeds in the cucumber before I chopped it. I also removed the seeds from the tomatoes prior to chopping.
- You can use any color bell pepper you want. I chose orange to add additional color to the salad.
- The size of all your vegetables are obviously going to vary so make sure not to dump all the dressing into the salad at once. I mixed the salad with my hands as I poured in the dressing so I could feel how wet it was getting. I ended up having about ¼ cup of the dressing left over but again, this will depend on the size of your vegetables.
- Add grilled chicken, steak, deli meat or any other protein on top of your leftovers and have it for lunch the next day.
This simple and easy Israeli salad tastes best served cold right out of the refrigerator. Make sure to mix the salad right before serving and you’re done. After trying this salad I dare you to tell me that soggy lettuce isn’t awesome!
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce (chopped)
- 2 tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 cucumber (chopped)
- ½ sweet onion (chopped)
- 1 bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Chop all of the vegetables into tiny pieces and place in a large bowl.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Pour the dressing over the salad mixing as you are pouring. You want the salad to be very wet.
- Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator for no less than four hours but it can be made a day in advance.