Cook the Book: Israeli Workingman's Lunch

[Photograph: Steve Legato]

We love a good egg sandwich—bacon, egg and cheese, egg salad, Croque Madame, we could go on and on, but we have to thank The Big New York Sandwich Book for introducing us to another egg-centric lunchtime repast, the Israeli Workingman's Lunch. One might assume that most workaday Israelis are bent over an overstuffed falafel but Snir Eng Sela, chef at Commerce had a different sort of Israeli lunch in mind.

His go-to lunch is a fresh, bright combo of creamy, tahini-heavy hummus spread on pita and layered with chopped Israeli salad and eggs scrambled with a whole herb garden's worth of greenery.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Big New York Sandwich Book to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from The Big New York Sandwich Book by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang, copyright © 2011. Published by Running Press.

Cook the Book: Israeli Workingman's Lunch

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About This Recipe

Yield:2
Active time:1 hour
Total time:1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 pitas (preferably the thick Israeli kind)
  • 4 tablespoons Israeli Hummus (recipe follows), or fresh, store-bought hummus
  • Olive oil
  • Green Eggs (recipe follows)
  • Katan Katan (recipe follows)
  • Israeli Hummus
  • 2 cups small dried chickpeas
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1 cup tahini paste, plus ½ cup water
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh-cracked black pepper
  • Katan Katan
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, finely diced
  • 1 ripe tomato, finely diced
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 parsley sprigs, chopped
  • 4 mint sprigs, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green Eggs
  • 8 to 10 parsley sprigs (about ¼ bunch), stems removed and chopped
  • 4 mint sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 4 cilantro sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 4 dill sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 4 tarragon sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 4 chive sprigs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 eggs, whisked lightly
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • Salt and pepper

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Israeli Hummus: Soak the chickpeas in the water overnight. Drain the water. Place the chickpeas in a pot, and cover with more water. Add the garlic, baking soda, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, and simmer until the chickpeas are very soft, about 1 hour. 

  2. 2

    Purée the cooked chickpeas in a blender or food processor, adding water as needed until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, mix the tahini paste with water until the paste turns white and the water is incorporated. Season the tahini with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add the tahini mixture to hummus, mixing well. Adjust the seasoning, and allow to cool before using or serving. 

    Note: To check doneness, Eng-Sala suggests using a time-tested Israeli method. “Take a chickpea out of the pot, and throw it at the wall. If it sticks, it’s ready. If  it doesn’t, keep cooking.” 

  3. 3

    For the Katan Katan: Toss the vegetables and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Dress salad with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  4. 4

    For the Green Eggs: Combine the herbs. Place the olive oil in a skillet. Heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the eggs. As they begin to set, turn off the heat. Add the herbs and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. 5

    For the Sandwich: Place each pita on a plate. To each, add a large dollop, or about 2 tablespoons, of hummus. Drizzle with olive oil, to taste. Add equal portions of the Green Eggs and the Katan Katan.

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