Just look at these guys! All lined up, bright, full of their own special vibrant flavor, calling to me, begging me to throw them together in a bowl! Who knew I could be so moved by a couple of piles of fruits and veggies? I had to appease them, so I did as I was told. Into the bowl they went, along with lemon, a smidge of olive oil, some salt and a large pinch of fresh chili flakes. Done and done.
Eating seasonally was once something I aspired to. Three years ago (my gawd how time flies) when I was last living in NY, I along with everyone else was intrigued by the idea of seasonal produce but found myself grabbing out-of-season ingredients whenever it suited my mood or recipe. Whole foods always manages to have every freaking thing that grows on the planet at all times! Living here has forced me to adapt my cooking to a ‘whatever I can get’ methodology.
Without a choice in the matter I am forced to wonder the shuk in search of what looks best for right now. And you can usually tell by the price — if its cheap and beautiful it MUST be in its prime. Avocados are so cherished that when in season we buy them by the dozen, plowing through a couple of avocados a day in my house is standard (mind you we are 5 people, but nevermind…) On a sad note, limes have an impossibly short season here and do not really overlap with avocados at all. This TRAGEDY has brought me to near tears several times. But I suppose this year I got used to it, and instead of whining about the lack of limes I have tried to implement all sorts of other tricks to get the brightest possible effect from my avos. Enter Persimmons, afarsimon in hebrew, or ‘sharon’s fruit’ as they are also called in Israel. I know many who turn their nose at the sight of these odd little guys, but I have grown to love them. They have a meaty texture that works well with the creamy avocado and crunchy spicy red onion. While their flavor is generally mild, the lemon and cilantro really helps this baby sing.
Here we eat salads starting first thing in the morning. An egg breakfast without a salad or at least some cut up tomatoes and cucumbers would be almost unheard of. You need the crunchy, tangy, acidic, salty salad to balance whatever else you are eating.
Instead of writing a recipe for this particular salad I will simply spell out my secrets to salads in general:
choose ingredients you know you like and don’t be shy with them. Put a fried egg nearby and let the aftermath of your poked egg yolk commingle with your salad. You will thank me later.