Celebrate Israel Independence Day With a Yom Ha'atzmaut Menu

On Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, Israelis pack their picnic baskets with charcoal, lots of meat, salads, pita bread, and hummus. Parks throughout the country fill with families grilling. But even you can celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut Israeli style, with a menu that's perfect for casual al fresco entertaining anytime you want a taste of Israel. ​

  • 01 of 07

    Israeli Hummus (Pareve)

    Israeli Hummus

    Jean-Yves Tran / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Israeli hummus – that much loved, humble chickpea dip – is a vital part of the cuisine throughout the Middle East. In Israel, where it's served at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times, it's practically iconic. Nowadays, you can find tubs of hummus in supermarkets worldwide, in all sorts of flavors. But nothing beats homemade hummus, and it's easier to make than you think!

  • 02 of 07

    Matboucha (Pareve)

    matboucha with chips
    Steve Morris, Food52

    Matboucha, a traditional Moroccan dish, is so popular in Israel that it can be found right next to the hummus on grocery store shelves. But the homemade version is easy and infinitely tastier. This Matboucha recipe can be made spicy or mild, according to your preference.

  • 03 of 07

    Baba Ghanoush (Pareve)

    Baba Ghanoush, garnished with pomegranate seeds and parsley

    Miri Rotkovitz

    Eggplant and tahini are both tremendously popular in Israel, so it's no surprise that ​Baba Ghanoush―a dip that highlights both ingredients―is also well loved. Scoop it up with homemade pita or veggies. 

  • 04 of 07

    Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Israeli Salad (Pareve)

    Classics Israeli salad

    The Spruce

    This chopped tomato and cucumber Israeli salad is so iconic of Israeli cuisine that it has been dubbed "Israeli Salad," and shows up on the table any time of day. It also happens to be perfect for toting along on picnics, and as a side for grilled fare. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Tabbouleh Salad

    Tabbouleh with Chickpeas

    Anita Schecter

    Tabbouleh salad, a combination of bulgar wheat, vegetables, and herbs, is a light, tangy and refreshing salad that is especially popular in the homes of Sephardic Jews. It's a great accompaniment to both salads and grilled meat. 

  • 06 of 07

    Lemon, Parsley, and Garlic Marinated Steaks (Meat)

    Grilled Rib Eye Steaks marinated in Lemon, garlic, and parsley

    Bob Ingelhart/Getty Images

    Giora Shimoni writes that when it comes to making fabulous marinades, he often seeks advice from his neighbor, E.T. This easy-to-prepare lemon, parsley, and garlic marinaded steaks is no exception, and "adds super flavor to the meat," per Shimoni. The fresh, piquant combo of lemon and parsley calls chimichurri―a multipurpose Argentinian condiment/marinade/sauce―to mind. 

  • 07 of 07

    Israeli Chocolate Cookie Truffles Recipe (Dairy or Pareve)

    Israeli Chocolate Cookie Truffles, or Kadorei Shokolad

    Miri Rotkovitz

    These no-bake truffle-like Israeli chocolate cookie truffles recipe (dairy or pareve), and they're so easy that making them is a popular preschool activity. But little ones aren't the only ones who love them―if you've got a thing for cookie butter, you probably will too.