Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chow Down to Eurovision 2015 - Israel

Shalom, the Chow Down to Eurovision 2015 now takes us to beautiful Israel.

Following on from the 2013 success of a Yotam Ottolengi inspired dish, Israel has again turned to Yotam for inspiration. I received a copy of Jerusalem one Christmas and it quickly joined the ranks of cookbooks that live on my bedside table along with those of Shane Delia and Dan Lepard, the type of food you want to be inspired by before you head to sleep....for hopefully tasty dreams!

While many will see an inviting array of farmers market vegetables most will hardly notice the poor kohlrabi in the corner. 

A vegetable that often gets purchased because it's purple and interesting but then without the courage or knowledge of how to use it, ends up being given to the chickens...or was that just me?

Kohlrabi also comes in green if purple isn't your colour.

Picking a new vegetable and then learning how to cook it is a great game, some would say sport and in a seamless segue that brings us to today's Eurovision hit from the past. 

In 1992 Dafna (accompanied by half the wiggles with microphones stuck down their tops) represented Israel with Ze Rak Sport (It's Just Sport). Dafna came 6th and then went on to host the Eurovision Song Contest when it came to Jerusalem in 1999. 

I really like the Kohlrabi salad featured in Jerusalem but not having all the ingredients on hand I went about with my own variation. 

Kohlrabi Salad
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1-2 kohlrabi
  • 50g dried currant 
  • 100ml sour cream
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves + garnish
  • Salt
  • Peel onion, cut in half vertically and finely slice
  • Add onions to a bowl and squeeze over the juice of a lemon, let sit for 30 minutes
  • Peel Kohlrabi, cut in half and slice thinly
  • Drain the juice from the onions and reserve
  • In a mixing bowl add kohlrabi, onions, currants, mints and sour cream
  • Combine and add pinch of salt and a splash of lemon juice
  • Serve with extra mint garnish
Kohlrabi is crisp, almost an apple of the vegetable world and is great sliced really fine into chips, grated into fritters and raw in a crunchy salad.

This year the Golden Boy from Israel was Nadav Guedj who managed to no only take Israel to the Eurovision finals after a 4 year absence, the king of fun placed 9th.

I caught up with Nadav in Vienna for a very quick unplanned interview about tattoos which didn't get awkward....OK it might have got a bit awkward discussing covering himself with tattoos?!?!

Previous Israel Chow Down to Eurovision:


  1. I've had some success with a variety of raw veggies sliced very finely and mixed with raisins ad dressing. Impressive picnic fare. I know it's all about the kohlrabi but I've had Apples in Pyjamas (using an Ottolenghi recipe funnily enough) and they are divine!

    1. Agree its such a good combo the dried fruit and dressing, normally it would be the lemon and EVOO for me.
      I am a big fan of the raw thin slice, if not grated, it works with so many vegetables, simple and dare I say healthy! I think we are both a little in love with Ottolenghi, maybe a lot!