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Persian Shirazi Salad Recipe: How to Make Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Taste buds, tie your shoelaces tight! We're diving into the heart of Persian cuisine today, with a refreshing, crispy, and vibrant Persian Shirazi Salad. So, buckle up, because this food journey promises an explosion of flavors that'll make your palate dance!

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Overview of Shirazi Salad Recipe

This recipe will take you only 20 minutes of prep time to create a delightful culinary treat. Named after the city of Shiraz, this salad is a popular staple in Iranian cuisine. It's the Persian cousin of Greek salad, a healthy concoction of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions with a tangy dressing. Whether you want to add it to your daily meal or serve it at your next get-together, this salad is an excellent addition to any table. Stay tuned to learn how to make it authentically delicious.

What is a Shirazi Salad?

Origins of the Salad

The Shirazi Salad traces its roots back to Iran, specifically from the city of Shiraz. This culinary delight is not only named after the city but also embodies its spirit: simple, refreshing, and full of character. Loved by Iranians, it's often referred to as the unofficial national salad of Iran due to its wide popularity and the depiction of Iran's flag colors: green from cucumber, white from onion, and red from tomato.

Shirazi Salad

Key Features of Shirazi Salad

The Shirazi Salad stands out for its unique bouquet of fresh, zesty flavors combined with the crisp textures of its ingredients. It possesses a vibrant rainbow of colors that instantly appeal to the eyes. The ingredients blend together perfectly, creating a balance between sweet, tangy, and refreshing flavors. The traditional salad is often compared to the Mexican pico de gallo or the Israeli chopped salad due its closely related ingredients. It's unique for its use of dried mint, which adds an unbeatable aroma and taste to the dish.

Shirazi Salad

The Magic of Ingredients in Shirazi Salad

Highlighting the Main Ingredients

Let's glance at the core cast of this Persian show:

  • Cucumbers: 3 Persian cucumbers (if not available, use 2 English cucumbers)
  • Tomatoes: 3 medium ripe tomatoes
  • Onion: 1 large red onion
  • Lemon: Juice of one lemon
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Dried Mint: 1 tablespoon

Note: Make sure to choose the freshest vegetables for maximum flavor and crispness.

Understanding the uniqueness of each Ingredient

In the Shirazi Salad, each ingredient plays a unique and interdependent role:

  • Cucumbers: They add a crunch along with a cool, refreshing taste to the salad.
  • Tomatoes: They bring juiciness and color to the salad. The sweet and tangy flavor of tomatoes complement the other flavors.
  • Onions: Red onions add a bold edge to the salad with their slightly spicy flavor.
  • Lemon, Olive oil, Salt, and Pepper: This trio forms the tangy and simple dressing, lifting the flavor of all ingredients.
  • Dried Mint: This sets the Shirazi Salad apart with its strong, aromatic flavor.

These ingredients synergize to create a salad that's much more than the sum of its parts.

Step by Step Guide - How to Make Shirazi Salad

Easiest Shirazi Salad

Preparation instructions

  1. Begin by washing all your fresh ingredients thoroughly under cold running water to remove any possible dirt or grime.
  2. Take your cutting board and a sharp knife. Dice the cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion into small, equal-sized cubes to ensure a balanced bite.
  3. Set aside all your prepped ingredients for the next step.

Once you've finished this preparation, you're halfway done. Let's move on to assembling your salad!

Shirazi Salad

Assemble the Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine the diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a teaspoon of dried mint over the vegetables.
  3. Give the salad a good mix, ensuring all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
  4. Taste test. Adjust the salt and pepper if required.
  5. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

That's it, your Shirazi Salad is ready! Enjoy it as a side dish or as a refreshing snack. Your taste buds are in for a vibrant treat!

Shirazi Salad

Tips and Tricks for Making a Perfect Shirazi Salad

Important pointers for beginners

  • Select the freshest ingredients possible. This will greatly enhance the taste.
  • Chewy cucumbers or squishy tomatoes can spoil the texture.
  • Allow the salad to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to come together.
  • It's always a good idea to taste the salad and make final adjustments if necessary. Your preferences matter!

Expert hacks for a better taste

  • If you can find Persian cucumbers, use them for their sweet flavor and crunchiness.
  • Use a sweet variety of onion if you find red onions too pungent.
  • Add a bit of crushed garlic to the dressing for an extra flavor kick.
  • Try adding some crumbled feta cheese on top for a creamy twist.
  • Don't be shy with the lemon juice. It's the secret to a refreshingly tangy Shirazi Salad!

Nutritional Value of Shirazi Salad

Your tasty Shirazi Salad is not just a treat to the taste buds but also a powerhouse of health benefits! This low-calorie dish offers wide-ranging nutrients per serving:

Shirazi Salad is therefore not only appetizing but also a low-calorie option packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

Shirazi Salad

Health Benefits linked with consuming Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad boasts an array of health benefits:

  • It's high in Vitamin A, promoting healthy vision and skin.
  • It's a source of Vitamin C which boosts immunity and aids iron absorption.
  • It's rich in fiber, aiding in digestion and helping to keep you full longer.
  • It's low in calories and can be a part of weight-loss diets.
  • It contains heart-healthy fats from olive oil.

This refreshing salad is a delicious way to add nutritious veggies to your diet!

Suggested Pairings

Best Foods to Serve with Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad is incredibly versatile, pairing well with various dishes. Here are some of our recommendations:

This salad is also wonderful as a standalone light lunch or as a starter for a warm lentil soup. Enjoy it whenever you want a refreshing bite!

Shirazi Salad

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Shirazi Salad same as Tabbouleh?

No, Shirazi Salad and Tabbouleh are not the same, although they have similarities. Both are Middle Eastern salads with fresh vegetables and herbs. However, Tabbouleh contains more parsley and bulgur wheat, while Shirazi Salad uses cucumbers and red onions in larger quantities. Tabbouleh has a denser feel due to the inclusion of grains, whereas Shirazi Salad is more refreshing and crisp due to its ingredients.

Can I make Shirazi Salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can chop the cucumbers, and onions up to a day in advance. However, I suggest chopping the tomatoes and tossing the salad with the dressing right before serving. The cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions start to break down once the acid from the dressing (mix of olive oil, lemon juice and dried mint) touches them, so it’s best to consume them once tossed.

Shirazi Salad

About Soniya

Hello, I am Soniya, the cofounder of The Belly Rules The Mind.  Originally from Mumbai, India, I am settled in Virginia US with my husband.

I am a mother of 2 energetic boys, referred to as R2 (15-year-old) and R3 (10-year-old) on the blog. In case you are wondering who is R1, well that is my husband. 

My hubby and I were born in Mumbai, India, where we were spoiled by the wealth of food choices available to us. We could enjoy everything from yummy street food to multi-cuisine restaurants and we became very picky about what we like and what we don't. Read more

Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad Video Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Master the art of cooking Persian cuisine with this simple Shirazi Salad in under 20 minutes. This Shirazi Salad recipe stands out for its unique bouquet of fresh, zesty flavors combined with the crisp textures of its ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers: 3 diced Persian cucumbers (if not available, use 2 English cucumbers)
  • Tomatoes: 3 medium finely chopped ripe tomatoes
  • Onion: 1 large finely chopped red onion
  • Lemon: Juice of one lemon
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Dried Mint: 1 tablespoon

Instructions

Preparation instructions

  1. Begin by washing all your fresh ingredients thoroughly under cold running water to remove any possible dirt or grime.
  2. Take your cutting board and a sharp knife. Dice the cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion into small, equal-sized cubes to ensure a balanced bite.
  3. Set aside all your prepped ingredients and dressing for the next step.

Once you've finished this preparation, you're halfway done. Let's move on to assembling your salad!

Assemble the Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine the diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a teaspoon of dried mint over the vegetables.
  3. Give the salad a good mix, ensuring all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
  4. Taste test. Adjust the salt and pepper if required.
  5. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 61Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 185mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 2g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. We are not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on TheBellyRulesTheMind.net should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though we try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of our ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

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