Sabich-Style Summer Salad
Hope you’re all having a great summer! As the heat makes us all too sweaty to think straight, I hope everyone has been able to take a trip, go to the beach, or at least have a small break somewhere cool.
I am (clearly) not that into hot weather but love taking the summer as a time to hike without having to worry about ice, leave the house without having to strategically layer, and wear Tevas.
Summer is also a great time to eat a lot of light, cooler meals. Here is a recipe that incorporates roasted vegetables and a tahini-based dressing. Many of this salad’s ingredients, and its presentation, are inspired by the sabich sandwich’s eggplant, tahini, Israeli salad, and pita. The Iraqi Jewish sabich sandwich is one of my favorite summer foods (especially after a hike!).
Like the sabich, this can also be made a day ahead of time and eaten cold as a Shabbat meal.
That salad isn’t difficult to make (you just need a little time to roast or grill the vegetables), but it’s worth it to have a summer meal that is interesting, delicious, and healthy. Make it while watching your preferred heist-based tv show and making sure your dog has enough water.
Serves 5-6 as a side salad, 2-3 as the main course
A bunch of baby spinach
1 medium eggplant
1 bell pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup chickpeas
4 small cucumbers, or ½ a large cucumber
4-5 baby bella mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil for roasting
salt and pepper
Optional: hard boiled eggs (these will make the recipe non-vegan)
¼ cup tahini
½ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves roasted garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425° degrees.
Peel and chop eggplant and sweet potatoes into ½ to 1-inch pieces. (You can also keep the peels on, but I get very stressed about cleaning them.)
Chop the bell pepper into 1-inch pieces.
Toss the sweet potatoes and bell peppers together, since they bake for the same amount of time. Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
In the now-empty bowl, toss eggplant with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a separate baking sheet.
[NOTE: You can make this even more summer-y by grilling each vegetable instead of roasting! If grilling, either cut the vegetables into much larger chunks, then cut smaller for your personal serving, or cut into small pieces and use a grill pan or tray.]
Take garlic cloves and cut off just the very top, exposing the inside but leaving them mostly intact and inside the peel. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap completely in foil. Put the foil-wrapped garlic on the eggplant baking sheet.
The sweet potatoes and bell peppers should roast for 20 minutes, while the eggplant and garlic should roast for 40 minutes. Use a spatula to toss each baking sheet occasionally, making sure one side isn’t burning. Whenever I roast eggplant it sticks to the baking sheet and is a real pain to clean, so make sure to at least toss a few times to keep from sticking.
While everything is roasting, make the rest of the salad!
Choose a large salad bowl and place spinach inside.
Chop up cucumbers and mushrooms. The pictures show how I like to chop these, but it’s really up to individual preference. Put cut-up vegetables on top of spinach.
If you’re using canned chickpeas, open the can, drain, and rinse in a colander. If you’re using dried chickpeas, first soak overnight with baking soda and water, then drain, rinse, and simmer in water for an hour at very low heat. Personally, I almost always used canned because WHO HAS THE TIME or remembers to do stuff like this a day ahead of time? To toast the pumpkin seeds, use the oven, a toaster oven, or a pan.
To toast them in the oven, just put them on a new baking sheet and toss with a little bit of oil and salt. These will toast fast and can easily burn in about 5 minutes, so keep an eye on them! To make them on a stove top, heat a small skillet on medium, add a little bit of olive oil, and swirl the seeds in a pan for about 5 minutes. If you are using a toaster oven, just put them on some tin foil or in a little pan and toast for 2-3 minutes, keeping the most careful eye in the world on them.
Toss chickpeas and pumpkin seeds over salad.
After 20 minutes, take out the now-roasted bell pepper and sweet potatoes. Once they’ve cooled for about 5 minutes, scrape onto the salad.
After 40 minutes, take out the eggplant and garlic. Let cool for a few minutes. Scrape the eggplant into the salad. Set the garlic aside to be used in your dressing.
MAKE THE DRESSING!!!
(Timing note: You can do this while you roast the vegetables, just add the roasted garlic in at the end!)
Squeeze a whole lemon into a mixing bowl. If you like an even more citrus-y punch, zest some of the lemon peel into the bowl as well.
If you’re opening up a new jar of tahini, mix it up so the texture is consistent. Measure out ¼ cup of tahini into a mixing bowl.
Pour in the ¼ cup of olive oil, ½ cup of water and whisk it all together.
Carefully (it’s super hot!!!) unwrap the garlic. Over a cutting board, squeeze from the bottom of each clove to easily take it out of the peel. Chop finely.
Whisk the chopped roasted garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes into a mixing bowl.
Taste using a spoon (or a vegetable) to test the flavor and consistency—you may want to add more water or tahini if it’s too thick or thin, or change up the seasoning a bit.
Mix the salad together with the dressing! I would start by putting just a ¼ cup of the dressing over the salad, mixing, and then adding slowly until you’re at your preferred dressing saturation point. I only used about ⅓ of the dressing for my salad (I like a very lightly dressed salad, which is a boring fact about me!).
Eat with pita or any sort of flatbread (I like to dip mine in some of the tahini dressing) and enjoy!
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How to cite this page
Yelsey , Lisa. "Sabich-Style Summer Salad." 27 July 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on March 26, 2023) <https://jwa.org/blog/sabich-style-summer-salad>.