Jerusalem Salad

My cousin Mona, who grew up in Jordan and eventually came to the United States to study, made this salad whenever she was homesick — it was a vivid reminder of her father, who loved the piquant tahini dressing. Mona always served Jerusalem Salad with warm lentils with rice, just as her father did. Although she passed away several years ago, it’s as if Mona is in my kitchen every time I make this. It is delicious with grilled meats, or spooned onto Falafel in place of the tomato and onion slices.–May Bsisu

Jerusalem Salad Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds firm tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 small pickling cucumbers, such as Kirby cucumbers, or 1 English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 packed cups finely chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sesame paste (tahini), plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  • 1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, bell peppers, and lettuce in a large mixing bowl.
  • 2. In another bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, vinegar, salt, and pepper together until the dressing is creamy and pale. If the dressing is too thick, gradually and a little water, whisking, until it reaches the desired consistency. If it is too thin, gradually add more tahini.
  • 3. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately, to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.
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