You see tahina being used in Lebanese, Armenian, Greek, Cypriot, Iranian, Israeli, Palestinian, Turkish, Iraqi, Levantine, North African and Bulgarian cuisines for thousands of years, but the first Israeli settlers in 1948 uses tahina in combination with roasted potatoes, onions and Goose liver. The same recipe is used whenever young people gather around a campfire.
For the readers at home anywhere in the world can do the same as the Israelis on the beaches around campfire in the evening. The images here look more fancy then you can do it at home over the campfire, but with some preparation, it tastes wonderful.
Leaves of 1 bunch parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small to medium onion, rinsed but not peeled
4 small to medium potatoes
4 slices goose liver, about ¾ Ib (375 g)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons fresh tahina paste
Prepare the parsley concentrate by rinsing the leaves and scalding them in a pan of boiling water.
Strain and chop in a food processor.
Strain the liquid through a fine strainer or cheesecloth then stir in the olive oil.
Rinse the onion and potatoes and wipe dry.
Wrap them in aluminum foil and tuck into a hot charcoal fire for 40 to 50 minutes until soft.
Heat a heavy iron frying pan over a high heat and quickly scald the goose liver in it on both sides.
Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
To serve, remove the aluminum foil from the potatoes and slice them. Put three slices of potato on each plate and pour over the fat remaining in the pan in which the goose liver was fried.
Season with salt and pepper, and place the goose liver on top.
Pour over 1 tablespoon of tahina paste.
Unwrap the onion, and with a sharp knife, cut into four wedges (retaining the skin).
Place one wedge on each plate next to the goose liver.
Add a heaped teaspoon of parsley concentrate to the plate and serve immediately.
Chopped Liver salad is expensive. But the characteristic European Jewish cooking is to combine inexpensive ingredients with something more costly, thereby enriching the diet while extending the servings. As chickens produce only a single liver, hard-boiled eggs and fried onions were added to make that single liver feed more people.
When my wife is not looking (or when I’m alone home), and see this Liver salad, I use ketchup and eat it with a spoon or with sliced bread on it. Or I spoon it straight from the pot. I love it, except I can’t overeat myself with this salad, because it’s heavy on the stomach. But this is truly my favorite salad all times.
Now a word about the identity or history of this recipe. The Crusaders were master in making the so called chopped liver salad and they ate it regular. But they used loads of onions at at least the double amount of eggs. This chopped liver salad is not a Jewish recipe, whatever anyone may claim.
1 lb (500 g) chicken livers, rinsed
Freshly ground pepper
3-4 medium onions, peeled and sliced thinly
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil or 3 tablespoons goose (or chicken ) fat
3-4 hard-boiled eggs
Salt to taste
1 additional onion, peeled and sliced thinly (optional)
To kosher (or conform to Jewish dietary laws) the livers, burn them gently over an open fire and sprinkle with salt to remove any remaining blood.
Add some freshly ground pepper.
Fry the sliced onions in the oil or fat until golden brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Reheat the oil or chicken fat, add the livers, and fry just until they lose their pink color.
Remove from the heat.
Return the onions to the pan, add salt, and allow to cool.
Grate or grind the livers with the onions and eggs.
Do not use a food processor.
Taste and add salt if necessary.
If desired, fry the additional onion until golden and sprinkle some water on top to fry until crisp (be careful of the spatter!).
Serve the chopped liver with the crisp fried onion on top.