Shirazi Salad (Persian Cucumber Tomato Salad)




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Hands tossing a Shirazi Salad in a white bowl

Shirazi Salad, or Persian cucumber tomato salad, is a combination of crisp cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, sharp onions, and fresh herbs ~ If you’ve had pico de gallo, Israeli salad, or even a good old Southern tomato salad, you already have an inkling of refreshingly delicious this is going to be.  


Today I’ve teamed up with a talented group of  bloggers for their latest installment of Project Design, an ongoing series that gathers together bloggers from different sectors around a common theme ~ this month it’s Summer Salads You’ll Want to Make Right Now and I’m honored to be a part of it.  You know I love my salads, so let’s dive right in!


Hand tossing a healthy Shirazi Salad in a white bowl 

Wherever fresh vegetables are gown (and that’s just about everywhere,) there is a salad like this that celebrates them.  Shirazi salad hails from the Middle East, and it’s served in some form or another in every region.  The simple formula is endlessly variable depending on how you chop it, which herbs you add, and how you dress it.  (See my Israeli Chopped Salad for an example.)  The cucumber/ tomato/onion trio is the through line.

This recipe is proof  (as if you needed it) that the best summer food is not fussy.  With just a knife, a bowl, and clean hands, you’ve got this!

Hands tossing a Shirazi Salad in a white bowl

This salad is often served chopped in a very small dice, and I think I’ll try that sometime, but I love the bigger chunks in my version, it really shows off the colors and textures of the ingredients.  Of course I decided to use heirloom tomatoes as well as classic reds.

Using a combination of red, colorful heirloom, and cherry tomatoes gives this salad a nice visual interest as well as a variety of flavors, textures, and acidity levels.

Chopping tomatoes, onions, and cucumber for Shirazi Salad

Small Persian cucumbers (you can use English or pickling cukes, too) are perfect for this salad because they don’t need to be peeled, and they have smaller seeds.  They’re less watery so they stay nice and crunchy, too.  I halve them lengthwise and slice in chunks.  Traditional shirazi salads often call for decoratively peeling the cucumbers in lengthwise stripes ~ just run your peeler down the cuke leaving long stripes of the peel in between.

A white bowl of Shirazi Salad

Of all the world cuisines I’ve explored on The View from Great Island, I get most of my inspiration from Mediterranean recipes. Here in Los Angeles our climate is identical to many of the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, and so recipes from that region are a natural fit for me.  But in the warmer months most of us can get our hands on really fabulous produce for this kind of salad.  If you have your own vegetable garden you’re golden, but a good supermarket or farmers market will do the trick, too.

Colorful Shirazi Salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and herbs

You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that making a big bowl of fresh salad every few days can go a long way towards replenishing what your body needs.  I think the key to keeping salads interesting is to pay attention to the extras ~ in this case that’s fresh herbs and a citrusy dressing.  Here I’ve used fresh mint and dill, and enough of each to make a statement.  Fresh squeezed lime juice and extra virgin olive oil make a memorable dressing.

a bowl of colorful shirazi salad

 

Shirazi Salad, or Persian cucumber tomato salad, is an refreshing vegetable salad along the lines of pico de gallo, or Israeli salad. #salad #tomato #cucumber #mint #Persian #recipes #summer #healthy #middleeastern #israeli #vegan #glutenfree

 

Other Mediterranean salads to try from tvfgi ~

Heirloom Caprese Tomato Salad with Kalamata Vinaigrette (the kalamata vinaigrette is worth the price of admission)

making caprese salad with fresh tomatoes on a wooden board


 

Mediterranean Bean Salad ~ the most popular salad on the blog.

This Mediterranean Bean Salad is the perfect spring and summer side dish!


 

Falafel Salad Bowl ~ this main course salad is full of protein, and gorgeous to boot.

This gorgeous Falafel Salad makes Meatless Monday everybody's favorite night of the week! |main course salad | Middle Eastern | Vegetarian | theviewfromgreatisland.com

 

Shirazi Salad
Rate this recipe
1 ratings

Category: salad, side dish, vegetarian main course

Cuisine: Persian

Yield: serves 4

Shirazi Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small or 1/4 large red onion
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers
  • approximately 4 cups chopped tomatoes, this can be a mix of regular, heirloom, and cherries.
  • 2 heaped Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 heaped Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 heaped Tbsp chopped fresh dill
    dressing
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion in 1/4 inch slices, and then cut the slices in half to make manageable sized pieces. Soak the onions in cold water for at least 15 minutes while you assemble the rest of the salad. This helps reduce the sharpness of the onion.
  2. Cut the cucumbers in half the long way, and then into 1 inch chunks. Add to a large shallow salad bowl along with the tomatoes and fresh herbs. Drain and add the onions.
  3. Whisk the dressing together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately. (You may not need all of the dressing.)

Make this shirazi salad your own ~

  • Make it more substantial by adding olives, feta cheese, or chickpeas.
  • Make it with parsley or cilantro in addition to or instead of the dill, mint, and chives.
  • Make it spicy ~ add sumac to the dressing, or, as a commenter below suggests, Aleppo pepper.

 

Five fresh salad recipes perfect for summer. #salad #healthy #sidedish

 

Now hop over to see what these other lovely ladies have in their salad bowls ~

 Pinecones and Acorns

 Most Lovely Things

Rough Luxe

Classic Casual Home

 

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Leave a Reply

24 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Franssen
    August 23, 2018 at 11:17 am

    How much in advanced can I throw this together?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 23, 2018 at 11:50 am

      The issue is the tomatoes, Mary, they get mushy so fast once they’re cut. I would prep everything except the tomatoes ahead of time, and then cut the tomatoes at the last minute,

      • Reply
        Mary
        August 26, 2018 at 8:07 am

        Thanks! Will do!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    July 30, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    So fresh and delicious, can’t wait to make this salad this week!

  • Reply
    Nellie Tracy
    July 28, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Garden fresh veggies combined with this recipe is a total winner!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    July 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Such a glorious recipe! I’m all about the fresh and healthy eats right now and I cannot wait to whip this Shirazi Salad up! WOOT!

  • Reply
    On the List
    July 28, 2018 at 7:13 am

    […] These Chicken Salad Summer Rolls from The View from Great Island are definitely something you should try out this weekend! Who wouldn’t like a fresh take on the classic chicken salad sandwich… plus using microgreens is just genius! Also check out the recipe for this colorful Shirazi Salad. […]

  • Reply
    faranak
    July 20, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Hi . I’m from Iran and I noticed this article o Shirazi salad . I was happy to see that this salad has become one of the favorite salads in the world but I need to mention that it doesn’t look like geuine Shirazi salad at all ! The ingredients are almost the same except for the dill which is never used in this salad . The most important thing about this salad is that you need to chop onions , tomatoes and cucumbers into very small piecs so that they are soaked in the dressing . This is the key to a delicious Shirazi salad .
    Faranak

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 20, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Faranak ~ I will try the salad chopped in a small dice next time, I purposely left the ingredients a little larger this time because I wanted to showcase some beautiful summer produce. I’m so glad you found your way to tvfgi!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 20, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Love this salad and the beautiful pictures, too :)

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    July 19, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Such a beautiful salad Sue! And filled with a list of ingredients I absolutely love! I’ll definitely be grabbing all the ingredients on my next trip to the farm stand!

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    July 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    YOU have a NEW FOLLOWER and I will DEFINITELY TRY THIS SALAD!!!!!
    CINDY SENT ME!!!!!!!!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Yay, thanks to you both :)

  • Reply
    Asal
    July 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Im so glad to see this post…im iranian and i should tell ya
    Salad shirazi’s dressing is : salt + paper + grape vinegar

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      I’d love to try that dressing Asal, I need to find grape vinegar, it sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    July 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Wow Sue – this is one gorgeous salad! I wish you lived next door so I could help you eat it. So vibrant and fresh, it must be delicious.

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    July 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I would eat the whole bowl! Definitely my kind of summer salad, Sue.

  • Reply
    2pots2cook
    July 19, 2018 at 8:13 am

    YAY ! So into Persian food lately ! Thank you so much !

  • Reply
    Samantha @ FerraroKitchen
    July 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

    This is my favorite salad ever and I make it often and is beautiful with a bit of Aleppo pepper as well! Beautiful photos!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 19, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Samantha ~ I saw a recipe that used sumac and Aleppo pepper, both of which I have in the spice cabinet, and I think next time I’ll spice up the dressing :)

  • Reply
    Berni
    July 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Oh, I look forward to making this!!! Looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    classic casual home
    July 19, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Wow…looks great. I made a salad last night and tossed it manually as I saw you had done in your photo. So much quicker. With those herbs, I bet the salad smells wonderful, too. Can’t wait to make it!
    Mary Ann

  • Reply
    elizabeth@pineconesandacorns
    July 19, 2018 at 7:17 am

    This salad looks delicious! I think I will add the feta cheese you suggested when I make it! I have made many of your recipes and have enjoyed every one!

  • Reply
    cindy hattersley
    July 19, 2018 at 6:30 am

    I am a total salad fanatic and I am on weight watchers. This salad is right up my alley! I love it in chunks as well…much more interesting. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your fabulous recipes!

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