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This simple salad is fresh, delicious and so quick and easy to make. Made with simple ingredients, this popular Mediterranean shirazi salad takes minutes to make and it works as a side dish for so many meals.
Why is it called shirazi salad
The salad is named for the city in Southwestern Iran, also called salad-e Shirazi. Very similar to a classic Greek salad or a simpler Fattoush salad. The texture, flavor and simplicity are what make it so appealing and it’s often served with Persian meals alongside rice and stews.
Ingredients for salad-e Shirazi
- Persian cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are smaller than English cucumbers and they have less seeds. You can use an English cucumber if you can’t find Persian.
- Tomatoes: I use roma tomatoes as they have quite a firm texture, but any tomatoes will work
- Red onion: Red onion is milder than white and works wonderfully in salads.
- Green pepper: I love the slight bitterness that the green pepper adds to this salad. This is optional though in an authentic Shirazi Salad.
- Fresh herbs: Cilantro and parsley are very common. You can use either one of the two if you prefer. Check out my top tips for how to chop cilantro, which is what I used here. I also like throwing in some dried mint.
- Dressing: Extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper, which you can whisk together before or just add when serving. Instead of lime juice, sour grape juice is the common acid added to the salad dressing.
How do you make a shirazi salad
Dice and chop all of the salad ingredients – it’s great if you can make them all pretty uniform in size.
If you’re serving the salad right away, I recommend whisking the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper together in the serving bowl, then adding the vegetables on top and gently tossing. It makes for less clean up that way.
Tips for making shirazi salad
- De-seed the tomatoes for best results. There’s a lot of water content in the Roma tomatoes, especially when diced in the size needed for this salad. If you have time, remove the seeds and toss in a soup or stew.
- Chop everything evenly. It helps to give the salad the uniform look it’s known for and makes every bite more enjoyable with all the different flavors and textures.
- Toss the salad immediately before serving. The salad should be crunchy and fresh and tossing it right before enjoying gives the best results.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice as needed. Depending on the size and taste of the other ingredients, you may need to adjust to your liking.
Frequently asked questions
The salad is best served straight away so that the vegetables are crunchy. You can chop the veggies and keep them covered in the fridge for a day or two and the dressing can be mixed and stored separately for up to 5 days.
Traditionally this salad is served with Persian rice and stews, but it’s also great with mains like chicken and steak. Try it with:
Lebanese Bean Stew
Oven Baked Chicken Breast
Beef Shawarma Wrap
Middle Eastern Rice Pilaf
This salad is usually served as a side dish, but you can easily turn it into a fuller meal by adding some shredded chicken. Keep it vegan, but mix in in some chickpeas for more protein.
More Mediterranean salad recipes
- Lebanese Cabbage Salad
- Fattoush Salad
- Cucumber Lemon Orzo Salad
- Classic Greek Salad
- Mediterranean Potato Salad
- Chickpea Salad
- Turmeric Rice Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Lebanese Tabbouleh
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feelgood Shirazi Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- 3 Persian cucumbers chopped
- 3 Roma tomatoes chopped, seeded
- ½ red onion chopped
- ¼ green pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon crushed mint
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- In a large bowl, place the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, green peppers, cilantro and parsley.
- In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper until well combined.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.