Cucumber, Pear, and Sumac–Onion Salad
Photography by Neal Santos

This twist on a classic Israeli salad, in which Asian pear stands in for tomatoes, is a refreshing counterpart to the warm, spicy chicken (see page 46 for recipe) that Michael Solomonov serves it with. Sumac-flavored onions add tang to balance the sweet fruit. If you like, you can also substitute 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes, for the Asian pears.

Featured in: Eating Israel with Michael Solomonov

Cucumber, Pear, and Sumac–Onion Salad Cucumber, Pear, and Sumac-Onion Salad
In this twist on classic Israeli salad, Asian pear stands in for tomatoes; it's a refreshing counterpart to warm, spice-roasted meats like chicken or kebabs.
Yield: serves 4-6
Time: 35 minutes


  • 12 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 14 tsp. ground sumac
  • 2 Asian pears (about 1 1/2 lbs.), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large cucumber (about 12 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp. roughly chopped mint
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice


  1. In a small bowl, toss the onion with the vinegar, 14 teaspoon salt, and sumac and let stand for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the Asian pears and cucumber with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the mint, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add half the onion to the salad and stir to combine. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining onion.