When I used to work there, Sheinkin was one of the coolest streets in Tel Aviv. It was where the beautiful people came to meet with friends, talk about life, listen to music, drink coffee in one of the myriad café-bars and to shop the funky independents (I have a treasure chest bursting with glittering Michal Negrin pieces). I used to walk there on Friday mornings picking my way through the vibrant and noisy Carmel market, the air thick with the scent of spices and over ripe fruit, until I finally emerged back into the white light of a Mediterranean day. This became one of my favourite rituals after a busy week and I loved it. All the more so because I was alone in a foreign city, a state of being I have always considered to be beautiful because nobody knew where I was, or who I was, which meant that I could just BE. I would take lunch in my favourite cafe-bakery – Orna and Ella – where I would typically order their robust ‘‘Everything Salad’ complete with a punchy dressing, their infamous sweet potato latkes and a glass of very cold Pelter chardonnay. The owners and I became acquainted; I kind of liked that too and so my own culinary journey began. The street eventually became pedestrianised and the big hitters moved in so regrettably Orna and Ella is about to close forever. This recipe is my tribute to their truly inspirational story and to the very fond memories I will always carry in my heart.
1 large flatbread
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large English cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and cut into halfmoons
400g of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
200g French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 baby gem lettuce, roughly chopped
30g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
10g mint leaves
Za’atar, to garnish
For the dressing:
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
2 tsp sumac
For the olive tapenade:
A 340g jar of green pitted olives, drained
20g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp za’atar
A splash of extra-virgin olive oil
Half to one lemon, juiced
How I make it
Heat an oven to 180C.
Cut the flatbread into 2cm squares. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with sea salt. Bake for around seven minutes, until the bread is golden. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a jar, combine the dressing ingredients; and, in a food processor, blitz the tapenade ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled flatbread, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, spring onions, lettuce and herbs. Dress to your taste.
Tumble everything onto a beautiful platter and lightly sprinkle with za’atar.
Finally, garnish with small spoonfuls of the olive tapenade.