Salad Shirazi is a herb and vegetable salad from the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. It’s enjoyed year-round as a side dish, but is often served as a full meal during the hot summer months. While the vegetables are often diced – giving them an appearance not unlike Pico de Gallo – I have found that using larger chunks give each ingredient a bit more distinction, and results in a livelier eating experience.
There isn’t much to this recipe; theoretically, you could just throw all of the ingredients together and chow down. But I prefer to soak the onions in cold water first, which removes some astringency, and to salt the tomatoes and cucumbers to leech out a bit of their juice. That way, most of the salad’s moisture comes from more flavorful sources, like olive oil and lime juice.
Salad Shirazi – Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad (Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, vegetarian, vegan)
1/2 small red onion, sliced (about ½ cup sliced)
1 lb Persian (small) cucumbers, peeled in alternating lengthwise strips to make a zebra pattern, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb mixed tomatoes: heirloom, cherry, and grape, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 bunch chives (about 10 chives), cut into 1” lengths
1 small handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup chopped)
1 small handful fresh parsley, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup chopped)
juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp juice)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
1. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl of cool water, and soak for 10 minutes to reduce its astringency, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Place the cucumbers and tomatoes in a colander suspended over a bowl, then toss with 1 tbsp of the kosher salt; set aside for 10 minutes, stirring to drain any accumulated water; gently pat dry to remove excess moisture.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chives, dill, and parsley. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, and black pepper. Pour the lime dressing into the mixing bowl and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.