A Long Hard Summer

by Sarah on June 10, 2010

details of old shack

Old shack in Kibbutz Nehemia in the Golan Heights

I react to summer the way those a bit higher in latitude react to winter- “Oh no! Another sunny day without a cloud in the sky”. Those closer to the poles pay money to lay around on lounge chairs soaking up the rays. For me it feels like the atmosphere has turned into hot hand cream; this hardly leaves me energetic.

This weekend we decided to leave the comfort of the air/con and head north, to the snow capped mountains of the Galilee and Golan Heights. I wish.

the kinneret, sea of galilee

Overlooking the Kinneret from the west

Being Israel, there isn’t much of a temperature difference between the North and the Central area, where I live. In fact, near the Sea of Galilee it is often hotter because it is in lower elevation. Our plan was to visit several settlements and to take the boys kayaking on the Banias River, which drains into the Jordan.

It was a fun respite from the heat and luckily there was food waiting for us when we arrived home (I love leftovers).

meatballs with tomato sauce and lentils

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Lentils


500 grams ground meat

1 onion, grated

1 egg

3 tablespoon bread crumbs or a 2 slices of bread, soaked, squeezed dry and broken up into small pieces

1/2 cup coriander, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons chopped mint

2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil


4-5 tomatoes, grated or pureed in the food processer

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

50 grams tomato paste (omit if you have very red tomatoes)


Olive oil

1/2 cup green or brown lentils, cooked  in water until soft and drained

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. knead well.  Form into round flat patties about 1 cm thick. Heat a cast iron skillet with a little vegetable oil. Fry the meatballs until golden on each side. They will continue cooking in the sauce and should not be fully cooked.


Fry the onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and stir. Add the tomato paste and cook while stirring until it begins to release its aroma. Add the pureed tomatoes and spices. Cook on low until the sauce begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.

Add the meatballs and the drained  lentils into the sauce. The sauce should come about half way up the meatballs. If there isn’t enough sauce add a bit of water or stock. The meatballs will release moisture so it is not necessary to submerge them completely, this will only make a watery sauce.

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