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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

LIGHT & LOCAL
Japanese cukes in an Israeli salad

By Carol Devenot

My neighbor invited me to join the Newcomers Club of Honolulu (which, obviously, isn't just for newcomers, because I've lived here all my life). The Recipe Group, to which I belong, has been enjoying some wonderful luncheons featuring different countries. In January, we had a six-course African meal. Last month, we made dishes from Provence. Our next project will feature Jewish foods. I'm preparing Healti Israeli Salad.

This salad is served with grilled chicken or fish falafel in pita bread, or sometimes just with a small wedge of feta cheese. Middle Eastern cucumbers are the favorite choice for this salad. However, the Japanese cucumbers readily available here are an excellent substitute because of their crisp, sweet and tender skin.

This salad makes use of just a little pickled herring found in jars in many supermarkets to add a salty contrast to the sweetness of the fresh vegetables.

HEALTI ISRAELI SALAD

  • 4 Japanese cucumbers, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes

  • 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and finely diced

  • 8 plum tomatoes, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup jicama (Chinese potato) or celery, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chives or green onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt to taste

  • Fresh ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • Small piece of pickled herring, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)

  • Lettuce leaves

    In a mixing bowl, combine cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, jicama, chives and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and drizzle over salad. Mix in capers and the cut-up herring. Serve on a bed of Manoa lettuce.

    Makes 4 servings.

  • Per serving: 120 calories, 3.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 5 g protein

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.