Salad Shirazi is one of my favourite salads, its simple ingredients of cucumber, tomato and red onions play together so well, they literally shake your tastebuds alive with every tingling mouthful. An invigorating salad, especially on a hot summer’s day. It’s a very colourful salad too, as you can see.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Table of contents
While it bears a strong resemblance to any generic salad and perhaps most certainly to the Turkish Shepherd Salad, Çoban Salatası, what makes it stand out is the fact that its vegetables are chopped up into tiny little cubes, making it resemble a salsa more in appearance.
Needless to say, Salad Shirazi is very easy to make, sure we do chop up the 3 vegetables a little bit more than we usually would but for this particular amount, it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to put it all together.
This salad shirazi recipe is my version of the traditional. What differentiates it from many others is the combination of parsley and fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), instead of just parsley. I absolutely love the combination of these two herbs and use them together in many of my Middle Eastern and North African recipes.
It really adds to the recipe and each mouthful is an explosion of fresh flavours.
How to Serve Salad Shirazi
SErve salad shirazi as you would serve any salad: as a side, an accompaniment or even a starter.
This simple Persian salad makes a delightful and not to mention, vivid, addition to any picnic and barbecue spread. The cool freshness of the cucumbers and tomatoes, the fragrant aroma of the parsley and coriander (cilantro) and the sharp sweetness of the red onions are all brought together by the slightly piquant vinaigrette, providing a stimulating contrast to whatever comes off your barbie or picnic table.
Whether it’s your favourite burger patty just off the barbie, sizzling hot chicken wings or the summer favourite, kebabs, salad shirazi will set it all off perfectly! Non vegetarian and otherwise.
Making the perfect Salad Shirazi
Size Matters 😉
Cut up the vegetables to the same size, as much as you can. Chop the cucumbers to cubes of just over 1cm (half an inch), then follow suit with the tomatoes and the onions, as much as possible.
Tomatoes must be firm and not too ripe. We don’t want the salad to be a wet one from the tomato juices, so avoid over ripe tomatoes. Some people even go as far as removing the seeds of the tomatoes but I think that’s not only robbing the salad shirazi of flavour but is just wasteful!
Keep it Cold
Keep it fresh and keep it cold. You can make it earlier but do not mix the vegetables up, cover them tightly with clingfilm and refrigerate until it’s time to serve, then mix everything up, including the dressing.
The salad shirazi dressing can be made ahead, even the night before, but keep it covered, and in the fridge.
There you go folks, a very simple salad for any meal, and any occasion.
Shall we get our aprons on?
More Persian Recipes
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Noushe jan | نوش جان
Salad Shirazi | Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion Salad
- ½ a large cucumber
- 1 large red onion
- 3 medium firm tomatoes
- 1 small handful flat leaf or curly parsley
- 1 small handful coriander leaves cilantro
- 2 Tbsp EV olive oil
- juice of 2 limes
- large pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Chop the cucumbers up into little cubes, no more than half an inch (just over 1cm) big.
- Chop up the onions and tomatoes to the same size.
- Finely chop the parsley and coriander (cilantro).
- Place in a bowl.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together.
- Taste the dressing and add more salt if needed.
- Drizzle the dressing all over the salad and toss (mix) gently, don’t mush up the tomatoes.
- Serve immediately.
- On a hot day, place the salad bowl on some ice to keep cool.