The Baladi Recipe Collection
A growing number of fruits and vegetables sold locally now carry the label baladi. Originally, the word baladi, meaning “local” or “rural” Arabic, was used to describe farm products such as cheese or eggs. But, with the introduction of new fruit and vegetable varieties into the market from abroad, industrial farming, and genetic engineering, the term baladi became a marker for heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties that have grown for generations in the region. For example, eggplant was the first vegetable to carry the label baladi, and that only came about once the large and smooth eggplant variety was cultivated in the region.
We gathered recipes from growers and farmers across the country who grow baladi fruit and vegetables in their fields. Michal Havivian, who grows tomatoes under the scorching sun at Meshk Havivian, shares her grandmother’s recipe for juicy and sweet tomato skewers. Oren Hexster from Masik Kibbutz Magal farm offers a recipe for almond schug that he makes every year with fresh Hasan almonds and Amir Ounallah from Bustana farm shares a spicy shakshuka with kara, the local white pumpkin.
If you can’t get a hold of the varieties in the recipes, feel free to use what you have on hand, just keep in mind that the end result won’t be quite the same.