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Typical Israeli Breakfast: Bountiful

Meir Adoni is one of Israel's top chefs, and his Tel Aviv restaurant, Catit, is one of the hottest tickets in town.

He's In New York to mark his home city's 100th birthday at the James Beard House with a spectacular formal dinner, so The Early Show asked him to stop by to prepare a traditional Israeli breakfast -- with pita, dips -- the works!

Catit's sophisticated cuisine and beautiful setting have made it a destination for foodies in the Mideast.

Adoni explained that Israel's pioneer farmers would work in the early morning, since the sun got so hot in the afternoon. After the day heated up and their appetites did, too, they would break for a hearty meal of bread, olives, cheese, and vegetables to refuel themselves.

Israeli hotels and restaurants often hold to this tradition and generally serve a large, varied and satiating "Israeli breakfast" to tourists.

Typical spreads include:

  • Hummus: a Mediterranean dip made of pureed chick peas; tastes best when eaten with fresh pita bread.
  • Tehina : a thick dip with sesame seeds as its base, was brought to Israel by Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
  • Labaneh: a homemade yogurt cheese that's just as popular a spread as hummus and tehina in Israel.
  • Baba Ghanouj : a dip made of roasted, pureed eggplant.
  • Shakshouka: from the Hebrew word "leshakshek," meaning "to shake"; a popular, spiced, egg and tomato dish.
  • Israeli Salad: Vegetable Salad is enjoyed by Israelis three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Mixed Cheese Salad: combines cottage and feta with cucumbers, peppers and onions.



    1 onion - chopped
    4 garlic clove - sliced
    6 tomatoes - peeled & diced
    1 spoon tomato paste
    3 sweet red pepper - diced
    4 sausages
    1 bunch of Spinach
    1 tea spoon Jalapeno pepper - chopped
    Salt, black pepper, cumin, sweet and savory paprika, sugar
    Olive oil
    4 eggs
    Coriander - chopped

    In a large frying pan, sauté onion until lightly browned, add garlic, jalapeno, red pepper, paprika.
    After 3 min of sweating those ingredients, add the tomato, tomato paste, sausages, and the spinach. Add the eggs, lower the heat, cover the pan for about 5-7 min, until the egg white completely cooked. Serve sprinkled the cumin and coriander on top

    1 cup of cracked wheat - soakage
    1 chopped onion sauté
    2 spoon roasted pine nuts
    1 bunch of chopped parsley
    2 spoon chopped mint
    1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds
    Tea spoon Jalapeno pepper - chopped
    Lemon juice, salt, olive oil

    Make sure to sautee the onions and toast the pine nuts before mixing. Then simply stir all ingredients together and serve.

    Pickled Sardines or Herring

    10 clean sardines or herring

    Pickling mixture:
    200g kosher salt
    30g fennel seeds
    30g sugar
    1 black pepper tea spoon
    2 spoon of Thyme leaves

    Mix together the pickling mixture. Disperse half of the mixture onto a tray, place the sardines so the skin touching the mixture directly. When the fish are arranged, cover them with the remainder of the mixture. After 30 min take the sardines out in to ice bath, then dry with a towel. Store with olive oil, thyme, bay leaf up to one week.

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