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Shirazi Salad: Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad

A white bowl filled with Shirazi salad of cucumbers cherry tomatoes green peppers and onions

Shirazi Salad is a delightful simple side dish made from fresh chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs, dressed in a bright citrus vinaigrette.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or an equal amount of Lime juice or verjuice can be substituted.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or Kosher salt) or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more, to taste
  • 4 Persian cucumbers (sometimes called mini cucumbers) or you can use 2 english cucumbers
  • 1/2 white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice, or you can use a red onion or a bunch of thinly-sliced scallions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, parsley, basil or dill
  • 1 pound of ripe tomatoes, 2-3 medium-sized tomatoes or 1 1/2 pints of cherry tomatoes (whichever are ripest and sweetest)
  • 1/2 small ripe green pepper, seeded and diced, optional

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, make the vinaigrette by whisking the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Trim the ends off the cucumbers and either thinly-slice them crosswise or cut them into 1/4-inch dice. Dicing is more traditional however I prefer to slice them because it gives the salad an interesting variety of shapes and textures. Add the cucumbers to a large mixing bowl.
  3. If using large tomatoes, slice them in half and remove any hard cores, then cut them into 1/4-inch dice. If using cherry tomatoes, no need to core them, just slice them into quarters, and add them to the bowl along with the diced onion, herbs and green pepper, if using.
  4. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette just before serving.

Notes

Can you make it ahead? To ensure the brightest crispest vegetables, wait to toss the salad with vinaigrette until just before serving. The vegetables can be sliced several hours ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge. The vinaigrette can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. Bring the vinaigrette to room temperature, toss with the salad ingredients and serve.

Keywords: cucumber salad, Persian cucumber salad