Before I tell you about this easy and refreshing salad I want you to know where I stand about what happened in my country on 10/7/23. I was in London visiting friends when the Hamas horrific massacre occurred. I was supposed to meet my mother and sisters in Paris, but their flight from Israel was canceled. So none of us made it to Paris.
The atrocities they carried out were beyond disturbing. However, what made it even worse was the reaction of millions of pro-Palestinian and Hamas supporters around the world – people who identify as “progressive” and “justice-seeking.” How could anyone sympathize with radical terrorist groups! Don’t they understand that by supporting Hamas, they’re giving it legitimacy to slaughter innocent people and more power? You need to be a complete idiot to think that you’re helping the Palestinians. The reality is that they are digging them deeper graves.
The best thing we can do for the Palestinians is to help them free themselves from Hamas. Period. We all know that Hamas doesn’t give a shit about its own people. If it did, it would have jumped on the opportunity to make peace with Israel. If they cared about their own people, they would have invested the billions of dollars they have received over the years from Israel and the rest of the world to make Gaza the Riviera of the Middle East. They could have built high-rises and created jobs instead of buying arms. They could have built the best metro system in the Middle East instead of digging tunnels.
I haven’t heard the word “peace” even once since October 7th. I received so many hateful comments on Instagram after posting how devastated and worried I am for the god-knows-how-many hostages Hamas kidnapped and all the families and individuals who had to witness their brutality.
Despite how impossible it seems right now, I am NOT going to stop praying for peace. Not only in the Middle East, but everywhere. I wish we could divide the world into two worlds: One world for all of those dark people who want to kill each other, and another world for those of us who want to live in peace.
Now let me tell you about this salad. It’s pretty similar to my Middle Eastern chopped vegetable salad though this one has more rustic vibes and croutons. Never buy croutons! Save your stale bread in the freezer and when you’re ready, crush it or cut it, toss it with olive oil and za’atar, and toast it. Store the croutons in an airtight container in the fridge. Use them in soups and salads.
Chopped Salad with Croutons
- 4 Persian cucumbers - diced
- 1 red bell pepper - diced
- Bunch of arugula - washed thoroughly, chopped
- 2-3 scallions - sliced
- Olive oil
- 2-4 slices stale or frozen sourdough bread
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 or more lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 hard boiled eggs quartered - optional
- Put the diced cucumbers, bell pepper and scallions in a large bowl. As if it was lettuce, chop it and add it to the bowl.
- Put the bread on a baking tray and drizzle olive oil on. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon za'atar and some salt and toast in the oven at 350°F until toasted but not dry and hard, about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ¼ cup water until smooth. If the tahini sauce is too stiff add a few teaspoons of water. If it’s too runny add tahini.
- Dress the salad with a splash of olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
- To serve: Spread tahini sauce on a plate. Top with the vegetable salad, za'atar croutons and hard boiled eggs.