Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Israeli Cooking Night: Salad and Bread

Israeli Salad

Makes enough for a small army.  We made half of this, and it was enough for 8 people.

6 cucumbers, diced  (We were using what I call ‘European’ cucumbers)
4 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 green onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup chopped garlic
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup minced fresh mint leaves
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper

Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, and mint together in a LARGE bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to serve.
Partway through - before adding oil etc.

Pita Bread

Makes 10 to 12 pitas
Prep time: 45 minutes.  Cook time: 10 minutes.  Rising time: 1 hour 30  minutes.  Total time: 2.5 hours

2 Tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cups warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees)
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

Put yeast in ¼ cup of water; add sugar and let stand for 10 minutes.  Sift 2 ½ cups of flour and the salt into a warm bowl.  Form a well in the center; pour in yeast mixture and remaining warm water. Begin to mix with hand, wooden spoon, or dough hook, adding remaining flour as needed.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky.

Oil a large bowl; place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place free of drafts for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Dough should be doubled in bulk.  Knead for a few minutes then divide into balls about 2.5 inches in diameter.  Roll balls into circles on a lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, or flatten into circles with hand. The circles should be about ¼ inch thick and about 7 inches in diameter.  Sandwich the circles between floured cloths and let rise for about 20 minutes in a warm place. 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Sprinkle cookie sheets with flour or oil.  Place loaves on baking sheets and bake 5 to 10 minutes.  If baking sheets are oiled, turn pita loaves to brown both sides.  Remove to wire racks to cool.

Pitas after being rolled out

1 comment:

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

that looks amazingly good! i would have to leave out the mint, though. not our cup of tea.