Monday, October 4, 2010

Mastering the Art of the Maoz Salad

With a Maoz so closeby, I do believe I have finally perfected the art of building my salad.  Doing so was no easy feat; there were lots of layering nuances to address and gads of cilantro to eschew (I'm talking to you, tainted carrots).  But I think I've finally created the perfect combination.  Disclaimer: besides cilantro avoidance, there are a lot of forces at work in the assembly of my salad.  My technique is such that the end result is not something that cannot be enjoyed immediately at the Maoz common table, but rather must undergo further tweaking in the privacy of my own home.  This is the price I pay for my masterful salad.

Start off with a salad meal deal with hummus and baba ganoush.  I don't normally like baba ganoush, but Maoz' version is more sweet than smoky so I find it dee-licious.  Combined with the hummus it serves as a fantastic dressing (more on that later).

You will be handed your bowl: a layer of lettuce, falafel balls, and your sides.  Now get to work.

Top with red cabbage because it's yummy and flexible: really fill in the valleys between your falafels.  Then go to town with the roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  My Maoz cuts these into bite size pieces so that they're all perfectly cooked and, much like ingredients in a chopped salad (though not so miniscule), they don't have to be cut. Now sprinkle tabouli, and then plop on some of the corn/mushroom mixture.  Take a moment to generously drizzle tahini over the whole concoction, but you're not done yet!  Time for more cabbage, paper-thin marinated dill cucumbers, and as much more broccoli and cauliflower as you can fit (you'll thank me later).  **WARNING: Make sure to embrace the naturally occurring mountainous shape your salad will take, as it will all squash out flat and even when you close the lid.  Failure to comply with this tip may result in an embarrassing incident of overflow.  Remember: you want other patrons of Maoz to admire your salad building skills, not laugh at your greediness messiness.**  The final touch is a thin layer of the chopped tomato/onion/cucumber, some onions in tomato sauce, and a little more tabouli.  I generally throw in two pickles and an olive of each color.  Snap tightly shut and bring it home, keeping a nonchalant eye that the lid doesn't burst open.  Since you have nothing to munch on unless you bought fries too, you pig, enjoy your lemonade, which is of the weak but pleasant variety.

Once home, open your container and admire your handiwork:

Then invert it onto a plate:

Evenly divide into two healthy meals by simply scooping half of the plateful right back into the container it came from: instant leftovers for the next day and no extra dishes.  Try to evenly distribute all of your ingredients so that you don't find yourself, say, overloaded with cauliflower on one day and without the next.  There are five, so, in the interest of keeping things even (and because they are ridiculously filling), be generous and give one of your falafels away.

Now comes the tricky part.  You want to mix up the hummus and baba ganoush so that it acts like a dressing, but you should also make every effort not to mix them together.   It sounds crazy, but believe me: you'll appreciate being able to enjoy the separate tastes.   Now douse your plate with hot sauce and mix. 

Voila, you are ready to enjoy.

P.S. Are these containers getting smaller, or am I building up a tolerance?


  1. Hilarious! I've never gotten a salad bowl at Maoz, just the half sandwich, which doesn't have much room to stuff all the veggies I want in it :-(

    Ugh I hate cilantro too! Why do semi-exotic restaurants have to put it in EVERYTHING?!

  2. Dianne, you order the HALF sandwich? I don't know what to say. Part of me wants to oink at myself.

    P.S. cilantro is the new pomegranate!

  3. Whoa. You have much more experience at this than I do, since I only have access to Maoz when I visit my brother in Florida. :( But I love the falafels so much I always succumb to one of those (NOT a half) and haven't ever ordered a salad. However, I do manage to stuff a shocking amount of extras into the pita so that eating it in public is an embarrassment, but one I'm willing to endure.

  4. Andrea, I am impressed! One day I hope to have the restraint to bypass the salad and order a real sandwich (whole). I've theorized that if I were to remove a couple of falafel balls (put them in my pocket?) I could squeeze in ample veggies. Obviously I've been giving this a lot of thought!


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