One of the best parts of being back in Israel is reuniting with friends from my past. Although not all my high school friends remained in Israel after graduation, the ones who did are now much more accessible and even the ones who left Israel come to visit with some regularity.
I am quite delighted to now be residing in the same great city as Ilana, a former Pardess Chana-ite, who gracefully mothers three beautiful children while also working full time as an elementary school teacher. Ilana, her husband Ziv and their children live in beautiful French Hill where she cooks, sews, gardens and makes Martha Stewart look like a lazy socialite. She does it all with a smile and a laugh, taking such genuine joy in life that it is contagious.
This salad is an example of the type of simple and delicious food that comes out of Ilana’s classically-Israeli kitchen. Ziv should be credited too, as he is never far from the food-preparations or (as he pointed out) from being the chief “taster”.
French Hill Salad, adapted from the Samberg house
Whether accompanying a hearty lasagna (or “matzagna” as Ilana served over Passover), or a simple summer lunch, this salad is a refreshing green treat for cilantro lovers. Make sure to chop the herbs very finely, as their stems can be a little tough.
1 large bunch of very fresh parsley, WELL washed (I usually do several washes) and finely chopped
1 small-medium bunch of cilantro, WELL washed and finely chopped
1-2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
good-quality olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Mix parsley and cilantro in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and a couple glugs of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and top with chopped toasted almonds.