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Chopped Middle Eastern Salad

This Middle Eastern salad is a cinch to make and full of fresh ingredients. It’s a combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, fruit, and a quick vinaigrette.

It’s similar to fattoush salad, in that it has tomatoes and cucumbers as the main ingredients, but it’s quicker + easier to make! This recipe, in Arabic, is called Salata Baladi which translates to “salad of the country/land”.

It’s a super common recipe served in Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon and can be eaten as a side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

A chopped Middle Eastern salad in a ceramic bowl with a serving spoon.

Why You Should Make this Salad

This salad only takes about 10 minutes to make and can be served as a side salad or a light lunch. It’s fresh, crunchy, and pairs perfectly with lots of dishes.

In the Middle East, it’s really common to have fresh cucumbers and tomatoes as a side for a meal like chicken and rice or mujaddara.

There are many variations on chopped salads in the Middle East, but they’ll often include fresh herbs and red onions. I like to add pomegranates or pomegranate molasses to mine just to add a bit more flavor!

Middle Eastern salad ingredients in small bowls on a marble background.

What You’ll Need to Make this Salad

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Cucumbers. You can use hothouse cucumbers, English cucumbers, or small Persian cucumbers. My favorite are the small Persian cucumbers, but they can be difficult to find year-round. If you use a regular, larger cucumber, make sure to peel it so you don’t have any bitter skin.
  • Tomatoes. You can use cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.
  • Fresh herbs. Mint and parsley are the most commonly used, but if you like another soft herb better (like cilantro or purslane) those will work as well.
  • Red onion. You’ll want to have a diced red onion. If it’s bitter or on the older side, make sure to soak it in water.
  • Pomegranate seeds. These are optional, but they do add some lovely crunch and flavor.
  • Olive oil. Choose a good quality olive oil because it will be the base of the vinaigrette.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
Ingredients for a cucumber tomato chopped salad in a mixing bowl.

More Mediterranean Salad Recipes You’ll Love

If you like Mediterranean flavors like this recipe, check out some of our other favorite salads.

A chopped Middle Eastern salad in a mixing bowl with a serving spoon.

Tips for Making a Middle Eastern Salad

  • You can use hothouse cucumbers, English cucumbers, or Persian cucumbers for this recipe. Use 3 small, Persian cucumbers or one large hothouse or English cucumber.
  • If using a hothouse cucumber, make sure to peel it. The skin is too bitter for this salad.
  • If you have an older red onion or it’s bitter, soak the diced onion in cold water while you chop the other vegetables. This will remove the bitter edge.
  • If you can’t find fresh pomegranate seeds, use one tablespoon of pomegranate molasses in the vinaigrette to get the pomegranate flavor.
  • If you’d like to add a little spice to this recipe, top it with some sumac.
Yield: 4 to 6 side salad servings

Chopped Middle Eastern Salad

A chopped Middle Eastern salad in a ceramic bowl with a serving spoon.

This chopped cucumber tomato salad is fresh and bright. It's a quick side salad that pairs well with so many meals!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved*
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced**
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, pomegranate, onion, parsley, and mint in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. 
  3. Top the salad with the dressing and toss to combine. 
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

Notes

*Or 3 Roma tomatoes, diced

**Or 3 Persian cucumbers, diced

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 545mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

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