For as long as I can remember, there has always been Israeli salad on my mother’s table. No matter the meal, no matter the time, it’s the classic accompaniment. And the same holds true in my own home – Israeli salad pairs well with everything and is a breeze to prepare. Here, I’ve incorporated a few extra elements to turn it into an Israeli variation on a Cobb salad, adding crispy chickpeas, roasted eggplant, and za’atar chips for an attractive and delicious spread.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Arrange the eggplant and chickpeas in a single layer on an unlined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub the seasoning into the flesh and bake at 425° F for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and slightly charred at the edges.
Meanwhile, place the pita chips on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle the za’atar evenly over them. Spray with cooking spray and rub each chip so the seasoning sticks well. Place in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes alongside the eggplant.
Process the garlic and cilantro in a food processor or chopper. Add the tahini paste, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and process until smooth and creamy. Thin out the dressing with additional water if it looks too thick.
Arrange the salad ingredients on a platter in rows. Drizzle the dressing over the salad or serve on the side.