Middle Eastern Salad Shirazi is a chopped salad made of tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley, and lemon juice. It’s a fabulous, fresh side dish that perfectly complements kabobs, rice, hummus, and other Middle Eastern favorites!
My family and I have what we call “Mediterranean Night” for dinner about once a week. It’s a hodgepodge of Middle Eastern and Greek dishes, and usually consists of hummus, pita bread, tzatziki sauce, tabouli, and salad shirazi. Sometimes we go vegetarian, and sometimes we add kubideh or grilled chicken. Mediterranean Night is one of our favorite dinners because it’s not only healthy and fresh, but delicious, too. When you’re finished eating, you feel satisfied but not weighed down from greasy or heavy food. Sometimes we make Mediterranean Bowls and put all of the aforementioned over rice. That’s one of my favorite dinners…ever!
I’ve eaten salad shirazi in Middle Eastern restaurants from Virginia and Washington D.C., all the way to California. It’s pretty much always the same, but one time in Virginia, I ate at a restaurant that offered “regular” or “spicy” salad shirazi. Of course I went with spicy, and found that they added jalapeno to give it the heat. I’ve only found spicy salad shirazi that one time and have never seen it since, but it was so good!
Middle Eastern Salad Shirazi is really easy to make. It’s just a lot of chopping of ingredients, but what you get when it’s ready is a side salad that’s fresh, crunchy, a little lemony, and really good for you!
You might think that you don’t need all the juices that hang out at the bottom of the bowl, but save them. They’re delicious poured over rice, or whatever other ingredients you are eating this with.
- Sumac is a spice that has a bright, almost lemony flavor. It’s a perfect addition to this salad.
- If you can’t find Persian cucumbers, just use a seedless English cucumber. I found my Persian cucumbers at Trader Joe’s.
- Some people like to add a drizzle of olive oil to this salad. I omit it from my recipe, but feel free to add it.
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
- 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- Couple dashes of sumac
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
- ½-1 lemon
- Add all of the ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon and pour it over everything in the bowl. Stir.. If needed, squeeze the other half of the lemon and add to the bowl. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust as needed.