Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi (Video)
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi is a traditional tomato salad that’s found all over the middle east, and making this salad is something I look forward to every summer. And this delicious fresh salad is low-carb, low-glycemic, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, South Beach Diet Phase friendly, Paleo, and Whole 30 approved! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Watch the video to see if you might want to make Middle Eastern Tomato Salad.
This Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi is one of my very favorite ways to eat tomatoes when they’re fresh and sun-ripened, and if I ever was forced to choose my top ten favorite ways to eat tomatoes, this salad would absolutely be on that list. It’s actually very good made with Roma tomatoes since they have less seeds and the flesh is firm, but you can make it with any type of tomatoes that have good flavor. And last night my brother Rand showed up to stay at my house in Utah with a big bowl of San Marzano tomatoes from his garden in California, so we’ll definitely be making Middle Eastern Tomato Salad at my house today!
I learned to make the salad years ago from my friend Massoud, who came to the United States from Iran, and this combination of salad ingredients is so traditional that it’s just called “salad” there. In the U.S. you might see it on a restaurant menu called Salad Shirazi. You can vary the proportions based on your own taste or what you have in the garden, but don’t skimp on the mint and parsley, which is what makes this salad so special.
Dice up one generous cup of garden fresh cucumber. (You can salt the cucumber and let it drain in a colander, but these days I often skip that step.) Dice an equal amount of garden-fresh tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are extra juicy, you can drain them in a colander for a few minutes.) If I have sweet onion, I’d use equal amounts to the cucumbers and tomatoes. This time I only had regular yellow onion, so I used a bit less. You can soak the onion in cold water for a few minutes if you’re not a fan of raw onion, but please don’t leave it out.
You’ll also need a cup of finely chopped fresh parsley. (I like curly parsley in this, but either one will work.) I picked mint from my windowsill herb garden, so I gave it a good wash in the salad spinner. And finely chopped the mint as well. (You can chop the herbs in a food processor if you prefer, but I just used a big chef’s knife.)
Mix the tomato, cucumber, onion, parsley, and mint in a non-metal bowl. Then mix in olive oil and lemon juice, starting with the smaller amounts listed and tasting until it seems right to you. Season the salad with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and devour!
Make it a Meal:
For a healthy low-carb dinner, this would taste great with something like Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano or The World’s Easiest Kabobs with Grilled Zucchini and Sausage.
More Summer Tomato Salads to Savor:
Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Feta, Lemon, and Thyme ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Marinated Tomato Salad ~ David Lebovitz
Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, Olives, and Feta with Basil Vinaigrette ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cherry Tomato and Blue Cheese Salad ~ Aggie’s Kitchen
Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Herbs ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Stacked Tomato Salad ~ A Spicy Perspective
Want More Summer Tomato Salads?
Check out Ten Favorite Summer Tomato Salads (plus Honorable Mentions) for more amazing salad ideas for summer tomatoes!
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi
This delicious Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi is a traditional tomato salad that’s found all over the middle east.
- 1 cup finely diced cucumber (remove seeds if they are large)
- 1 cup finely diced tomato
- 1 cup finely diced onion (I often use sweet Vidalia onion)
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley (more or less, to taste)
- 1 cup finely chopped mint (more or less, to taste)
- 2-3 T olive oil, or more to taste
- 1-2 T fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- salt, pepper to taste
- Chop cucumber in pieces less than 1/2 inch and put in colander.
- Add a generous amount of salt and let sit while you chop other ingredients. (These days I often skip the step of salting and draining the cucumber, unless it seems watery. If the tomatoes are juicy I sometimes put them in a colander and let the juice run out.)
- Cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions should be cut in same-size pieces.
- Parsley and mint should be chopped very finely. (You can use a food processor to chop the mint and parsley if you wish.)
- When all ingredients are chopped, combine in mixing bowl.
- Mix in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. (Start with a bit less and add more until it tastes right to you. I find it does not need a great deal of dressing to taste good.)
- Serve immediately.
This recipe was given to me by my friend Massoud.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi is a perfect side salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but in the summer I’d be very happy just having a big bowl of this for lunch. The salad would also be approved for other low-carb eating plans, including Paleo and Whole 30. Tomatoes and onions do have carbs, so if you’re wanting a lower-carb version use more cucumbers than other veggies.
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