Shirazi salad is an Iranian recipe made from chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, a zesty dressing, and dried herbs. It's a classic Persian side salad that's juicy and refreshing.
This salad is originally from a city in Southwestern Iran, called Shiraz. It's known as the city of gardens, poets, flowers, and literature in Iran.
It pairs incredibly well with all sorts of dishes like roast chicken, kabobs, rice dishes, and pasta.
I'll show you how to make the best salad Shirazi in just a few simple steps.
Why You'll Love Salad-e Shirazi
If you like Mediterranen or Persian cuisine you'll be very familiar with the flavors in this salad, it's very similar to a standard chopped Middle Eastern salad.
This authentic Shirazi salad is super simple to make but it packs in lots of flavors. The special addition to this recipe that sets it apart from other regional chopped salads is the dried mint.
Many of the region's salads have fresh herbs in them, but the authentic version of this recipe calls for dried mint that's rubbed between your fingers (to release the flavor). This gives the recipe a much deeper flavor of mint because it's more concentrated.
I've also included a small amount of ground sumac in this recipe, it's authentic but not always included. If you don't have it, that's okay, but if you do have access to it I think it adds a lovely tanginess.
Here's what you'll need to make a delicious, traditional Shirazi salad recipe. The main ingredients are simple but fresh and full of vibrant flavor!
Tomatoes - You'll need several firm tomatoes for this recipe. I used Roma tomatoes (which I would recommend) because they are easy to dice. Use heirloom if you have them in season.
Cucumbers - Use seedless cucumbers if possible. Crisp Persian cucumbers and English cucumbers both work for this recipe. They're the easiest to use because they have thin skin and fewer seeds. If you are using regular cucumbers (hothouse cucumbers), you'll need to peel it and if the seeds are large, cut them off.
Onion - You'll need ½ a medium white onion. I like white the best in this recipe, but I know some people prefer red onions. If you decide to use red onion, be sure to soak it before adding it to the salad to remove bitterness.
Lime Juice - You'll need lots of fresh lime juice. Traditionally verjuice (a sour pressed grape juice) is used in this recipe but it can be hard to source. Use lemon juice if it's easier.
Olive Oil - You'll need a few tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil.
Spices & Herbs - You'll use dried mint, sea salt, ground sumac, and black pepper. Mix these together in a small bowl to combine.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Prep your vegetables and cut them into small pieces. You want the flavor of cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in each bite.
Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion in a large bowl.
Crush the dried mint in your fingers to unlock the oils in the leaves. Sprinkle them over the salad.
Add the lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, sumac, and black pepper to the salad and stir to combine.
Variations & Substitutions
- Green Bell Peppers - if you'd like additional crunch, add one chopped green bell pepper.
- Fresh Herbs - chopped fresh parsley or dill can be a great addition to this salad.
What to Serve with this Salad
This salad is almost always served as a side salad, although you could use it to top fish or meat (like pico de Gallo) if you like. Here are several main course recipes to serve with this healthy salad.
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs - these easy lemon pepper chicken thighs would be ready in the time it takes to chop up this salad.
- Lemon Chicken with Orzo - these delicious chicken thighs with preserved lemon and orzo would pair well with a fresh side salad.
- Hawaij Chicken Recipe - this baked chicken and rice recipe would be perfect with a fresh and bright side salad.
- Mujaddara Recipe - this lentil, onion, and rice dish is a comforting mix that needs a fresh veggie salad to balance its flavors.
Tips for Making this Recipe
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Recommended Tools - You don't have to have this, but I like chopping my tomatoes with a tomato knife. I think it allows me to get a more even and smaller dice.
Storing Tips - This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. The tomatoes and cucumber will dry out the longer they sit, so if you are making this in advance, toss it with a little more olive oil before serving.
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- 4 Persian cucumbers, diced small
- 4 Roma tomatoes, diced small
- ½ white onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground sumac
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion in a large bowl.
- Crush the dried mint in your fingers to unlock the oils in the leaves. Sprinkle them over the salad.
- Add the lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, sumac, and black pepper to the salad and stir to combine.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 279mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g