Species of Israel Salad

“A land of wheat and barley, and grapes and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil-olives and (date) honey.” (Deuteronomy 8:8)

Everyone in Israel agrees that Tu B’Shvat is a time to eat fruit. What type of fruit varies from fresh, local fruit to dried fruit imported from Turkey to the seven species listed above. In my elementary school in America, they used to give us rock-hard pods of carob imported from Israel. No wonder I like Tu B’Shvat better here.

This year, I wanted to make a dish that included as many of the seven species as possible, and I came up with this salad. For the base, I debated between bulgur wheat and barley. I opted for the heartier, chewier barley, but it would probably be great with any grain as a base–bulgur, quinoa, couscous, or wild rice. Since grapes aren’t in season, I used raisins, chopped dried dates, pomegranate arils, and olive oil for four more species. Unfortunately, figs tend to be infested with bugs, so I skipped them. There is no wheat in the salad, but we ate it with the challah you see in the picture. 5 species in the salad, 6 in the meal. To balance the sweetness of the fruit, I added fresh, green herbs. The salad is very lightly dressed with just a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It came out so good that I had to share it, even though Tu B’Shvat is over. To make this into a dairy meal instead of a parve side dish, simply add cubes of feta or Bulgarian cheese.


Species of Israel Salad Recipe
Servings: 6 as a side dish, 1 as main dish

2 cups cooked barley (from about 1/2 cup dry)
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup scallions/green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup cubed feta or Bulgarian cheese (optional)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Cook barley according to package directions. (Mine said to soak for at least an hour, then cook for 45 minutes to an hour.) Allow to cool.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss lightly.
  3. Serve cold or at room temperature.

If you like this, you may also like Ratatoille-Inspired Mediterranean Grain Bowl and Beet Bulgur Salad, two more hearty, filling salads.

About israelisalad

I'm an American-Israeli mother who loves to make healthy food from fresh ingredients, on a budget and with limited time. My site is full of easy, healthy recipes and insights into life in Israel.
This entry was posted in Salad, Sides and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Species of Israel Salad

  1. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:
    One more beautiful and very special salad in honor of the New Year for the Trees!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged on https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/species-of-israel-salad/
    Thank you for sharing – Shavuah Tov and happy Tu b’Shvat!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Baruch Burstein says:

    Was delicious. Very good also without the cinnamon.


  4. What a lovely salad! Your pomegranate arils look perfectly ripe, juicy and sweet. I still haven’t learned how to know when it’s time to open a pomegranate to get that perfection. Now I’m off to look up Tu B’Shvat. Thanks for introducing me to something new.


    • israelisalad says:

      I will have to write a post about pomegranates, but I’ll give you a few tips. Like all fruit, it is the sweetest and juiciest (and the least expensive) when it is in season. The redder peel doesn’t mean redder seeds. And if the peel looks dried out, the fruit has probably been on the shelf for too long.

      Liked by 4 people

      • That’s helpful. Thank you! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a pomegranate that didn’t have a skin that looked dried out. I’ll watch for shiny “alive” peels–and for your post on pomegranates.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joëlle says:

        I would very much like a post on how to choose pomegranate. I have only recently discovered this fruit and have bought it three times this winter (I live in France). One of those times the arils were pale and tasteless. I have made some very tasty salads with it! Yours looks very good, I am glad Dolly shared it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • israelisalad says:

        Sometimes it is hit-or-miss. I have also ended up with pale pomegranates, especially when it is not the peak of the season.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. KR says:

    Barley in Estonian cuisine very common, but you combination is interesting for me. Thank you for inspiration! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i love the sound of all this fruit in here! i can’t claim to know much about tu b’shvat, but this still sounds like a delicious way to celebrate (:


  7. Pingback: Blogaholic Award Nomination | Israeli Salad

  8. Stacey says:

    awesome. This looks so good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yum!.. Thanks for sharing… I’m Jewish nd just wrote about salad as well.. Please come visit me at my blog:)


  10. Fixed it…HUGE APOLOGIES! I just started blogging a week ago and I am so sorry… I am an author at IPATRIOT and have been plagiarized myself…very frustrating.. please accept my most earnest and horrified apology for this mistake

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Granola-Crust Cheesecake Fruit Tart | Israeli Salad

  12. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Trees! | Israeli Salad

  13. I started using barley quite often pairing it with mushrooms, vegetables, greens, etc. Now will have to try your version

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: It’s About Time, Part 2, with Rebekah Saltzman | Israeli Salad

What do you think? Join the conversation! :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s