Tu b’Shevat Salad
It is customary to eat the seven species of Israel (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, pomegranate, dates) and other seasonal fruits on Tu b’Shevat, which celebrates the New Year for the trees. This salad features many of the seven species and other fruits available at the farmers market at the Tel Aviv port, called Shuk HaNamal, where I am fortunate to shop each week and to have gotten to know some of the farmers who sell their goods there. By the way, this salad is great during the rest of the year, too!
- 1 cup dried barley (or quinoa or rice for a gluten-free version)
- 2 cups water
- 5 fresh figs
- 1 persimmon
- 1 apple
- 10 dates
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from ½ orange
- 1 tablespoon silan* (date syrup) or honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine barley (or quinoa or rice) and water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes (less for quinoa or rice—check package directions) until soft and fluffy.
- While barley is cooking, rinse and chop fruit. Slice figs into quarters, chop persimmon and apple into small pieces and pit and halve the dates. When barley is finished, drain, if necessary, and transfer to a large bowl. Add chopped fruit and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, orange juice, silan and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the barley and mix well.
- * Silan is available online or in Middle Eastern/ethnic food markets.