Middle Eastern Tomato Salad or Salad Shirazi
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.
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 so special.
(Middle Eastern Tomato Salad was updated with new photos and step-by-step instructions, July 2013. My friend Massoud is coming to visit me again in a few weeks, so I thought that was a good reason to update this recipe with better photos!)
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.)
I picked the mint from my windowsill herb garden, so I gave it a good wash in the salad spinner.
Mix the tomato, cucumber, onion, parsley, and mint in a non-metal bowl.
For a Phase One and 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.
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe from my friend Massoud, who taught me to make this years ago.)
(All amounts are approximate. Feel free to use more or less of some ingredients, depending on your own preferences.)
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
Cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions should be cut in same-size pieces, and 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.
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South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
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