Middle Eastern Salads: Tahini, Roasted Peppers, and Eggplant with Green Onions and Cilantro

July 5, 2012

These are the last of the Shabbat salads. Don't worry, there will be more, eventually. For now, I leave you with this flavorful, colorful trio. The homemade tahini (I really want to scream tchina in my inherited Israeli accent, but I'll leave it tahini for a more familiar pronunciation), has a creamy texture and a hint of garlicky taste.

The roasted pepper, depending on your preference and luck (yes, I consider it luck when you land a batch of seriously spicy peppers), add a boost of piquant, livening any bite from bland to interesting.

And finally, this roasted eggplant salad is something my father-in-law concocted in his own kitchen. Yes, he's an excellent cook and takes his Shabbat salads quite seriously. He has perfected each one and through various experiments, came up with this combination that became an instant success amongst the eggplant-obsessed in the family. Guests are instantly hooked as well.

I hope you will pick one, two or all to make at your next meal. These salads are great starters that are fresh, healthy, and flavorful. The perfect appetizers to nibble on while the meal is taking pace and conversations are flourishing around the table.

Homemade Tahini

1 jar of tahini sesame paste
2 bunches of cilantro, washed
4 garlic cloves
juice from one lemon
1 TB of olive oil
1/2 TB of salt
2 cups of freezing water

1. In a food processor equipped with a blade, pulse the cilantro and garlic until finely chopped.
2. Pour the whole jar into the bowl of the processor with the lemon juice and salt.
3. While the blade is turning, pour 1 cup of water through the spout. Let it incorporate into the tahini.
4. Stop the food processor and check the consistency. If it's too thick, incorporate the second water cup. Check the consistency again.
5. Keep on adding water until you reach your desired consistency. Some like the tahini to be a thick paste, some like it more watered down.
6. Once you reached your ideal texture, add the olive oil and let pulse another few seconds.
7. Transfer to a storage container.


Roasted Peppers

10 long spicy peppers (there are various names, it really doesn't matter which kind you buy, the spicier the better in my book)
Olive oil
Sea salt

1. With your over on broil, char the sides of the peppers until they are all burnt. Transfer to a heatproof container and cover to cool and let the steam loosen the skin.
2. Peel the skin off and slice them thinly.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.


Eggplant with Green Onions and Cilantro salad

1 large eggplant, cubed
1/4 cup of oil
1 TB of paprika
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 TB of mayonnaise
juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 450F. In a baking dish, toss the eggplant with the oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook until the eggplants shrivel and are fully cooked, about 45 minutes.
2. Once the eggplant cools, mix with the cilantro, green onions, mayonnaise, lemon, salt and pepper.
3. Serve.


  1. Yuuuuuuuuum! Is this really what Shabbos lunch looks like in your house? I want an invite.

    1. lol yes, you are welcome whenever you're in LA!!

  2. I love this, keep em coming, I want that eggplant and am angry that my husband forgot to buy some the other day when it was on the list.

  3. I'm really enjoying your mezze series!

  4. love those salatim!!!!! YUM and gorg bowls/dishes too!

  5. These all sound delicious! What's your favorite bread pairing?

    1. we can't see beyond homemade challah. that's the only way to go!

  6. First off - those bowls are adorable!! I love them!! After reading this I definitely need to expand my Shabbos salads beyond the classic hummus. Thanks for writing up the recipes so concisely and clearly - totally makes them less intimidating and I'm actually excited to try them out!

  7. I had to come back and tell you that I made the eggplant salad and it was a huge hit. To be honest my husband is a big eggplant naysayer, but a good recipe can win him over and this one really did. He couldn't get enough, I can't wait to make it again.


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