Can't get to Tel Aviv EAT Food Festival? Enjoy these recipes from Israeli restaurant Liliyot instead.7-species salad & The Priest's (lamb) Stew

Sometimes something drops into your inbox and reading the few preview lines makes your heart race. Sometimes opening the email confirms your excitement was justified - sometimes not.

This week I received an email titled "Press Tel Aviv" with a few lines visible about a food festival there.

Tel Aviv food,Israel cuisine

In my head I was packing and calculating how many Pot Noodles I might have to buy to keep the family from starving while I was away enjoying some Israeli sun and food.

Predictably I was disappointed as the actual email was like so many I receive - asking me to promote a product/service/event for nothing with not even a free cupcake to sweeten the deal.

However I actually thought the event sounded amazing and after double checking that the organisers could not in fact fly me out there, decided to write about it anyway.

(This was a lot to do with the honesty, humour and friendliness of the PR person in this case who joked along with me and was happy to discuss ways of making their straight press release something more interesting.)

In this case they agreed to find one of the chefs participating in the food festival to share a recipe so we could enjoy a bit of Med-style food in less exotic surroundings back here in Blighty (or wherever you are readers.)

So here we have it - not one but TWO lovely recipes, one hot, one cold, from Jonathan Berrebi from Tel Aviv Kosher restaurant "Liliyot" ("Lilies")

Jonathan Berrebi from Tel Aviv Kosher restaurant Liliyot
(credit Ilya Melnikov).

"Seven Species" Salad

Ingredients (2-3 diners):
200g cooked groats ( or substitute with Quinoa** see note below)
100g minced dried dates
100g minced dried figs
100g pomegranate seeds
100g minced chicory
8 fresh and soaked vine leaves (you can buy them in tins or jars in many British supermarkets now)
100ml olive oil
3 squeezed lemons
3 tablespoons of honey
Sea salt and black pepper 

Take a deep plate and cover it with the fresh vine leaves.

Soak the pomegranate seeds in 15mL of the freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Combine the dried fruit, the groats, the chicory and the pomegranate seeds in the plate and pour over the olive oil, the remaining lemon juice and the honey. 

Season the salad with salt and pepper according to taste.

The Priests' Stew

Ingredients (3 diners):
800g Diced stewing lamb, approximately 4-5cm cubes
100g leeks cut to 4-5cm pieces
100g carrots cut to 4cm pieces
2 white onions peeled and cut to quarters
1 garlic clove
2 cooked beets peeled and cut to quarters
20g thyme
100g cooked wheat
100g cooked black lentils
60mL grapeseed oil or canola oil
200mL barbecue sauce
100mL orange juice
400mL boiled water
150mL red wine
Sea salt and black pepper

Pour oil into a heavy or  double-bottomed pot and sear the meat from all sides, then take it out. 

Pour in the red wine and – using a wooden spoon (very important) – deglaze the meat residues. 

Pour in the vegetables, the wheat and the thyme for a quick roast, and then place the meat back in the pot. Stir for 5 minutes.

In a smaller pot pour the barbecue sauce, the orange juice, the water, the salt and pepper; boil and stir.

Pour the liquid on the meat and vegetables, cook on low heat for 5-6 hours. 

If the liquids overly reduce, you can add some water and orange juice. Stir frequently.

**If it's important for food to be Kosher for Passover, remember to check for the OU-P symbol on products. Quinoa has been approved as OU-P but only when it bears the certification symbol.

Now - if you are lucky enough to be able to visit Tel Aviv this week  you should find time to go along to Tel Aviv EAT, a 3-day-long celebration of food, bringing together Tel Aviv's culinary scene's highfliers who will cook for the city's foodies. 

The festival will take place on May 24-26th, beginning at 18:00 in Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. 

Tel Aviv EAT will include gourmet chefs managing street food stands, local music bands playing as the sun sets and various farmers' markets selling their freshest produce.

Foodies will be able to find the following renowned restaurants at the Eat Tel Aviv Festival: Yaffo Tel Aviv, Yahaloma Banamal, Manta Ray, Zakaim, Meshek Barzilay, Lima Nippo, Mexicana, Vicky Cristina, Little Italy, Agadir, Cookeez, Tamara, Dim Sum Shop, and many more. 

Sadly I won't be there but will enjoy recreating these two recipes from Jonathan - many thanks to him for sharing them.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.