Jerusalem Day: Israeli Recipe Roundup

Today is the 28th of Iyar. Also known as Yom Yerushalyim or Jerusalem Day. Have you heard of this special day? We celebrate Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six Day War. So today, we honor the soldiers who lost their lives in the war and spend the day talking about Jerusalem and what it means to us. We share memories, we sing and we dance.


For those of us not in Israel today, we can also celebrate with food. Israeli food. What’s your favorite Israeli food? Falafel or Sabich? Shakshuka or maybe some Sachlab? When you think of Jerusalem, what food comes to mind?

In honor of Jerusalem Day, I want to share with you a roundup of Israeli recipes and restaurant reviews from both my site, and from around the blog world.

Do you have a favorite recipe that makes you think of Jerusalem? Post them to the comment box or send them to me at

Thanks to The Jewish Federations of North America for sparking the idea for this blog post; they’ll be featuring it on their Jerusalem Day website as a way to build buzz for their annual General Assembly, a major gathering of leaders from Jewish organizations in North America and Israel which will be in Jerusalem this November.

Hummus, Tahini and Other Dips
Homemade Hummus
Hummus with Zaatar
Lemony Hummus
Matbucha Madness
Roasted Eggplant Dip
White Bean HummusOther Vegetarian Treats
Malawach Cheese Pastries
Roasted Eggplant with Israeli Salad
Israeli Couscous with Cinnamon Roasted Sweet PotatoSalad
Cabbage Salad
Israeli Salad
Beet SaladMeat Recipes
Lamb Kebabs
Turkey Shawarma




Chocolate Falafel
Halva and Pistachio Ice Cream
Limonana Bars
Limonana MarshmallowsShakshuka Recipes
Green Shakshuka
Matbucha Shakshuka
ShakshukaJerusalem Restaurants
Dining on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem
Kosher Vegetarian Restaurants
Kosher Sushi in Jerusalem

Garlic Scapes and White Bean Hummus with Pita Chips

I had some scapes leftover from the pesto I made the other day. As I ate the pesto with the pasta and white beans, I thought about how this flavor combo would make a good hummus. I had some leftover pita sitting in the freezer from a few weeks ago that was begging to be turned in to some pita chips. I figured it would be a good after-school snack for the kids when they got home from school.

I was right – it turned out to be perfect.

Garlic Scapes and White Bean Hummus

5-6 garlic scapes
1 can white beans
1-2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. thyme
ground pepper
1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Place everything in a food processor and go to town! It’s that easy! Seriously!



Pita Chips

Pita (I used around 10)
1/2 cup olive oil (approx.  – depends on amount of pita)
1 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
assorted herbs (half of mine were zaatar, half had a garlic/thyme mixture)

Preaheat oven to 400.

Cut pita in to wedges.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the spices of your choosing.

Brush the pita triangles with the oil mixture. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet


Bake for around 7-8 minutes or so.

Cool pita chips for a few minutes and serve. Enjoy!


Homemade Pita

While wandering the streets at lunchtime, I often eye the ethnic food carts. So many wonderful (and some not so wonderful) smells coming out of those carts. Two of the most popular falafel vendors, Alan’s and Sam’s, have the craziest lines snaking from the carts. They even serve a tasty little treat inside each bag when you order an overstuffed falafel sandwich. Included in the bag is a greasy piece of crisp pita. Sam’s even has a bowl where you can help yourself to these tasty treats. Those crispy pita chips are such a tease.

We don’t have too many decent kosher options in the area where I work – let alone kosher falafel carts. Moshe’s used to come by, but they disappeared about a year ago. So I’m left on my own in the world of falafel sandwiches.

I offered to make the family some falafel the other night. Nobody was interested. When I suggested making some homemade pita to keep on hand though, the ears perked up. Homemade fresh pita is so much better than the store-bought and it comes together fast.

Homemade Pita

1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 + cups of flour

Place the yeast in a large bowl.

Pour the warm water over the yeast. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Add salt, olive oil, and 1.5 cups of flour. Stir the mixture in to a paste with a wooden spoon.


Stir in another 1.5 cups of flour.

Turn on to a floured surface and begin to knead. While kneading, add flour as necessary until the dough is not sticky anymore. The dough will still be soft and pliable.

When ready, form in to a large ball shape and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes or so – while the oven heats up.


Turn the oven to 465.

Cut the dough with a dough cutter in to around 8 equal pieces.

Form the dough in to balls.

Roll out the balls until around 1/4 inch thick. Make sure that the rounds aren’t any thinner or they won’t have that lovely pocket effect.


Spray the tops of the dough with a bit of water and olive oil mixed together. Not too much – just a couple of drops to keep moist.

Let the dough rounds sit for about ten minutes.  During that ten minutes or so, heat up your heavy baking sheet.

Take a spatula and turn 3 dough rounds at a time on to a baking sheet and place in the oven.

Keep the oven light on so you can watch the magic that happens inside your oven. The pitas will begin to puff up. At about 5 minutes or so, the pita will be puffy and will have browned a little on the bottom.


The pita should be ready. Place on towel or platter to cool.


Enjoy your pitas with falafel, hummus or whatever your heart desires. Stay tuned for some tasty treats that will be made with this yummy pita!

Homemade Pita


Meatless Monday: Shakshuka

Sometimes I crave eggs. Just my body’s way of telling me that I need some protein. On some nights, I will just throw together a quick and painless omelet to go with a quick salad. Other times, I want something a bit more substantial – a bit more flavorful. On nights like that, I turn to Shakshuka. Shakshuka is Israeli comfort food. It’s a dish of eggs, poached in a rich, tomato based sauce. For this shakshuka, I added some chickpeas and mushrooms for extra protein and texture.


 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 package of mushrooms, sliced
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with peppers and onions (RoTel would also work)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 can of chickpeas
5 eggs
feta cheese
scallions for garnish

In a large, deep cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Saute until soft/

Add in the spices and the chopped green pepper. Cook a few minutes.

Add in the chickpeas aand mushrooms. Cook two more minutes.

Add in the two cans of tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir everything together. Cook a few more minutes.

Set your oven to broil.

Use your spoon to make indentations where you want your eggs to go.


Crack each egg in to each spot.


Cook eggs for just a minute or so.

Sprinkle on some feta.

Transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for another 4 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your preference. I like my eggs a little runny. Garnish with the chopped scallions.

Serve shakshuka with some pita and a green salad.



1 2