After a week in Beâ€™er Sheva Iâ€™ve got the supermarket thing pretty down. But then my friend Beth took me to the real market, the Shuq in the Old City. A large, vibrant open air market of the kind popular throughout Israel and this part of the world, on my first visit I was like a kid in a candy store. Stall after stall had vendors selling produce, eggs, meat, olives, grains, spices, and household goods.
The standard vegetables looked fresher and cost less than their supermarket counterparts, but it was the fruit that that really caught my eye. Dragon fruit, passion fruit, pomegranate, persimmon, and figs, figs, figs! We have these things in New York but theyâ€™re sad shadows of what theyâ€™re supposed to be. I bought them all. When I got home I arranged them in my fruit basket and just stared at how pretty they were. Where am I? This fruit bowl didnâ€™t nearly resemble the boring assemblage of apples and bananas Iâ€™d have in the States.
Now I had to find a use for all that fruit and quick. The first thing I did was to make an avocado, persimmon, fig, and pomegranate salad. I wasnâ€™t entirely sure that these flavors would go together, but they were simply divine. The avocado here is on the bland side so after I sliced it I drizzled it liberally with lime juice and salt. I added sliced persimmons, figs, and pomegranate seeds and topped the whole thing with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just gorgeous.