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Quarantine Kitchen: Israeli Vegetable Salad with Pita, Zaatar, and Labneh

Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

On warm summer days, everyone appreciates a cool meal, or at least a cool side-dish, to take the heat away from your body and to chill down emotions and feelings. So here is a simple Israeli salad that has served as a staple of Israel dining tables for many decades. The addition of the pita bread, the zaatar spice mix, and the labneh yogurt cheese is just a sense of the fun one can have with Middle Eastern cooking. Enjoy!


  • 4 fresh medium tomatoes, chopped or cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 decent-sized cucumber, chopped or cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped or cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 medium to large red onion, chopped or cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 whole carrot, chopped or cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 30 (approximately) mint leaves chopped chiffonade style, enough to make about ¼ cup packed.
  • 2/3 bunch of fresh parsley, rough chopped, for about 1 cup’s worth.
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice from 1.5 lemons
  • 5 tbsp of Olive oil
  • Zaatar spice blend (optional)
  • Sumac (optional)
  • ¾ lb labneh yogurt cheese
  • Whole wheat pita bread cut into triangles


In a large bowl, mix together all the vegetables, lightly salting and peppering to taste. Be sure to keep the liquid from the vegetables in the bowl.

When the vegetables are uniformly mixed, add pepper to taste, the oil, and lemon juice, and continue to nix more.

Now, toss in the mint and parsley and mix again.

August 4, 2020 14 Av 5780