Recipes from Tel Aviv


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For 4–6 people for breakfast

O 100 g (3½ oz) leek
O 30 g (1 oz) butter
O 250 g (9 oz) spinach
O 25 g (1 oz) flat-leaf parsley
O 25 ml (¾ fl oz) cream
O Sea salt
O 1 small fennel bulb
O 2 spring onions (scallions)
O 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
O 50 g (1¾ oz) kashkaval, or another kind of mild, full-fat cheese
O 20 g (¾ oz) parmesan, plus extra to garnish
O 6 eggs
O Sourdough bread, to serve

Halve the leek lengthways, trim and cut into strips 1 cm (½ inch) wide. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leek and cook over medium heat until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Wash spinach and remove the thick stems. Set aside about 50 g (1¾ oz) of the leaves. Blanch remaining spinach along with the parsley (with stems) for 10 seconds in boiling, salted water.

Strain and immediately submerge in ice water. Firmly press to remove all liquid.

Purée the leek, spinach-parsley mixture, cream and 75 ml (2½ fl oz) of water with a stick blender or in a blender until creamy. Season to taste with salt.

Halve the fennel, remove the stalk and cut the bulb into thin slices. Trim the spring onions and cut in half widthways.

Warm olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the spring onions and fennel and sauté very lightly for 3 minutes. Season with salt, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining spinach and 1–2 tablespoons of water to the same pan. Sprinkle with salt and distribute first the spinach-parsley mixture and then the fennel and spring onions evenly over the spinach. Coarsely grate the kashkaval cheese and 20 g (¾ oz) parmesan and scatter over the vegetables. Using a spoon, make 6 small wells and break 1 egg into each. Salt well, especially the egg yolk, cover and cook for 4–5 minutes. The egg whites should be firm but the yolks still runny (like a poached egg).

Grate extra parmesan over the eggs.

Drizzle with olive oil and serve with fresh sourdough bread.

Haya’s tips:
If you prefer, you can also make the shakshuka in small individual pans.

We have made countless shakshuka variations, including a version with chickpeas and eggplant – whatever tastes good is allowed! It is also delicious as leftovers.

In Haya’s family, shakshuka is always served at Sunday brunch. A large pan of it is placed in the middle of the table and everyone dunks crisp bread into the sauce.

Download printable recipe (PDF)


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For 4–6 people as a main dish

For the freekeh:
O 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) freekeh
O 25 ml (¾ fl oz) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
O ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
O 2 tablespoons sea salt
O 100 g (3½ oz) walnuts
O 100 g (3½ oz) pecans
O 150 g (5½ oz) medjool dates
O 1 celery stalk, with greens
O 50 g (1¾ oz) flat-leaf parsley
O 50 g (1¾ oz) coriander (cilantro)
O 25 g (1 oz) mint
O 1 acri sivri (cayenne) pepper
O 1 small red onion
O 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) Greek yoghurt

For the dressing:
O 40 g (1½ oz) fresh ginger
O 3 garlic cloves
O 30 ml (1 fl oz) date syrup, maple syrup or molasses
O 25 ml (¾ fl oz) lemon juice, plus extra to taste
O 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
O 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
O ½ teaspoon sea salt
O 125 ml (4 fl oz) olive oil

Place freekeh in a bowl, cover with cold water and stir well with a spoon. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Then strain the freekeh through a sieve.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add the cumin and sauté. Add the freekeh and sauté briefly as well. Add 750 ml (26 fl oz) of water and the salt. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the freekeh is cooked but still al dente and the water has completely evaporated, around 15–20 minutes. Then leave to cool.

Coarsely chop walnuts and pecans; pit and finely dice the dates. Finely dice the celery and chop the celery greens.

Pluck the herb leaves from the stems and finely chop. Deseed the sivri pepper and slice into thin strips. Peel the onion and finely dice. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients for the salad except the yoghurt.

For the dressing, peel the ginger and garlic and chop very finely or grate.

Whisk together all ingredients except the oil. Pour in the oil slowly in a thin stream and whisk the dressing until it is thick. Pour over the salad and toss well. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.

To serve, spread the yoghurt on the plates, arrange the freekeh salad on top and drizzle with olive oil.

Download printable recipe (PDF)


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For 2 challas
O 460 g (1 lb) plain flour plus extra for dusting
O 45 g (1½ oz) sugar
O 7 g (¼ oz) salt
O 9 g (¼ oz) dried yeast
O 30 g (1 oz) butter (at room temperature)
O 2 large eggs
O 230 ml (8 fl oz) water
O Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Beat the flour, sugar, salt and yeast using the flat beater attachment of your mixer. Dice butter and stir in well.

Add 1 egg and the water and process with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes at room temperature.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces of equal size. On a floured surface, shape each piece into a ball, then roll into a rope about 20 cm (8 inches) long.

Braid 3 ropes at a time together into a plait. Carefully place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover and leave to rise at room temperature until the plaits have doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Beat the second egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush the challas with it, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place an ovenproof pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven and bake the challas for 10 minutes. Remove the pan of water and bake the challas for another 10–20 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Haya’s tip:
I like challa best with a sweet glaze. I simply stir together a bit of egg white with date or maple syrup and brush the challa with this mixture

Download printable recipe (PDF)


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For 6–8 people as a main dish

For the croutons:
O 3 slices sourdough bread, flatbread or challa (1 day old)
O 1 tablespoon dried za’atar spice mix
O 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the marinated za’atar:
O 1 small red onion
O 2 bunches fresh za’atar or oregano
O 2 tablespoons sumac
O Juice of ½ lemon
O 2 tablespoons olive oil
O ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the stewed tomatoes:
O 2.5 kg (5 lb 8 oz) multicoloured cherry tomatoes
O 4 garlic cloves
O 3 tablespoons olive oil
O 1 tablespoon sea salt
O 1 teaspoon black pepper
O 20 calamari
O 12 prawns (jumbo shrimp)
O Olive oil
O 100 g (3½ oz) feta cheese
O 1 lime
O Fresh za’atar, to garnish
O Sumac, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). For the croutons, tear bread into coarse pieces and combine with the dried za’atar spice mix and the olive oil on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Roast in the oven until the bread is golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the bread roasts, marinate the za’atar. Peel the onion and cut into thin slices. Pluck the za’atar leaves from the stems. Mix both together in a bowl with the sumac, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

For the stewed tomatoes, heat the oven grill to 260°C (500°F). Quarter the tomatoes and peel the garlic. Mix all ingredients together on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cook under the hot grill for 20 minutes, so that the tomatoes give off a bit of liquid. Take out and set aside.

Clean the calamari and prawns. Heat a chargrill pan and brush with a bit of olive oil. Cook the seafood, turning after 1–2 minutes. Grill the other side for 1–2 minutes and lift out of the pan.

(The prawns are done as soon as they turn pink. The calamari should be lightly browned.)

Coarsely crumble the feta and quarter the lime. Arrange the seafood and croutons on plates with the stewed tomatoes. Add the feta and lime quarters and garnish with the marinated and the fresh za’atar and with the sumac. 

Download printable recipe (PDF)