Meatless Monday – a great go-to salad
Shawarma, really? During the 9 days of no meat? This may sound a bit out of your comfort zone, but this fresh and easy Israeli Shawarma Feta Salad has warm, aromatic flavors of Shawarma without the meat. This is a great way to incorporate some bright summer flavors into a healthy salad during the 9 days or any time of year!
What is “shawarma” you ask? Basically what my husband lived on during his year and a half in Israel, HA!
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish consisting of thinly sliced meat layered and slow roasted on a rotisserie or spit. You can get lamb, chicken, or beef shawarma stuffed into a pita or a laffa with all the fixings! Hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, cabbage salad, pickles and fries – yes, please! The “shawarma” seasoning usually is a mix of turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and sometimes cinnamon. Basically, a warming spice blend that pairs perfectly with a salty cheese like feta, in today’s salad! You can buy shawarma seasoning at your local kosher supermarket, or (if you’re not feeling lazy), make your own spice blend!
I first got the idea for this salad while flipping through an older issue of “Eating Well” – just a simple, fresh summer salad with feta and herbs. But as I was literally chopping the veggies to make this salad, I had a light-bulb moment. Why not turn this into a spin on Israeli salad? Since I was half-way there, I added the radish for a hint of that sharp flavor and crunch and swapped red onion for green onion to make it milder. But if you’re a red onion fiend like me, feel free to add it! And for the final touches, adding shawarma seasoning to the dressing made it the perfect, Mediterranean-kissed bite of yummy goodness.
This would also be good with some diced avocado, goat cheese instead of the feta, or even sun-dried tomatoes mixed in too.
I love cilantro (but you can substitute parsley of course). If you ARE going to use cilantro, don’t forget about the stems! That’s where all the flavor is, not primarily the leaves, as most people might think. How great not to waste time picking the leaves off – just chop everything up and you’ll get an even bigger burst of citrus flavor that cilantro brings to the party! And weirdly enough, I think I am in that percentage of people who thinks that cilantro tastes “soapy”, but yet for some reason, I love it.
The base of a well-rounded meal
This salad is so versatile, it’s the perfect base for a filling meal. Add some grilled salmon or tofu on top for some bonus protein. Or, go ahead and omit the feta and add in some grilled chicken. I make shawarma chicken for my husband all the time, it’s such an easy go-to Friday night dish.
Last but not least, make sure to use fresh dill, it really makes all the difference. Serve with some lemon wedges, maybe some pita chips on the side and this is a healthy meatless, 9-days salad to keep your taste buds satisfied!
Want more salad ideas? Check out my Herby Cabbage Salad, another healthy option during the 9 days too!
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup Cucumber, chopped
- 3 Green onions, sliced thin
- 1 cup Radish, sliced thin
- 1 Handful of chopped fresh dill
- 1 Handful of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 2 oz. Crumbled Feta
- 1/4 cup Mayo
- 1/2 Lemon, squeezed (and for serving)
- 1/2 tsp. Shawarma seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Pepper
Add the tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, radish, dill, parsley or cilantro and feta in a large bowl
In a bowl, mix the mayo, lemon juice (same some for serving), shawarma seasoning, salt and pepper
Pour the dressing over the salad and squeeze a bit more lemon over the salad
Serve with some lemon wedges on the side and crunchy pita chips!