From crispy falafel to lamb kebabs, check out this selection of foods popular in Israel — and by all means, try them at home!
Though the country may be small, Israeli cuisine is incredibly diverse. A melting pot of deliciousness drawing from the Mediterranean, North Africa and everywhere in between, these foods incorporate fresh, wholesome ingredients for unique and flavorful dishes. Here are 10 dishes inspired by the cuisine of Israel we think you'll love (recipes included!):
Crispy and filling, falafel is a great snack by itself, stuffed into pita bread or served atop fresh spring greens. Made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans, these deep-fried bites of goodness are common in Middle Eastern cuisine. Interested in making your own falafel? Check out this recipe from The New York Times.
Smooth and creamy, this spread made from cooked eggplants is the perfect balance of sweet and smoky. Dig in with some pita bread or fresh veggies and you've got yourself a lovely Levantine snack. Try this organic, vegan baba ghanoush recipe from Inhabitat.
A sunny-side-up egg on top of a rich tomato-based sauce, this North African dish makes for a hearty breakfast – but eating it for dinner is not out of the question. Dig into this dish with a spoon or slice of bread. PBS Food blogger Marc Matsumoto tackled the dish, and the results look amazing — check out his recipe here.
Photo: Olaf Speier/Shutterstock
These stuffed pastries can come filled with mashed potatoes, veggies or cheese and are often sprinkled with seeds. Turkish in origin, their Israeli form usually is made with phylo dough or puff pastry. An easy recipe for first-time boureka-bakers: Serious Eats' Cheese Bourekas.
Grilled meats on skewers? Yes, please. Beef and lamb kebabs in particular are popular among Israelis. A restaurant in Israel was even named one of the best places for kebabs in the world by CNN. For a great meat-and-veggie combo, try Food Network's Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Yogurt Sauce (yum!).
Also known as ptitim, Israeli couscous takes the traditional North African meal, plumps it up and adds some star ingredients from local farms: pomegranate seeds, peppers, zucchini and, of course, cherry tomatoes. A great meal for kids, couscous can be made healthier with the use of wheat flour. Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe that takes advantage of the slow-roasted grape tomatoes.
Clockwise, from left: Falafel, khachapuri, Israeli salad and shakshouka.