Shirazi Salad (Salad-e Shirazi)
The BEST Shirazi Salad (Salad-e Shirazi) Crisp Persian cucumber, diced tomatoes, and chopped onions with fresh herbs and the most refreshing lemon-lime dressing! I could eat this salad every day!
Shirazi Salad is totally on the list of the top 10 best salads I’ve ever eaten or made.
I honestly could eat this salad every single day. It’s bright, colorful, and so refreshing – not to mention it’s definitely a healthy salad that goes with just about everything.
I won’t bother to tell you how many times we make this salad in a week – spoiler alert: it’s definitely A LOT.
What is a Shirazi salad?
Shirazi salad or Salad-e Shirazi is a salad from Iran or more specifically, the Southern city of Shiraz. Traditionally, the salad dressing is made with ab-ghooreh which is grape juice from unripened grapes and has a sour flavor.
How is Shirazi salad different from Tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is made with a larger quantity of parsley and bulgur wheat. It does contain cucumbers, onions, and cucumbers but in a slightly smaller quantity. Shirazi salad is usually made with equal parts Persian cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes and lightly dressed with a sour dressing.
Ingredients for homemade Shirazi salad recipe:
- Persian Cucumbers: I like to use Persian cucumbers but you could also use English cucumbers or hothouse cucumbers if you prefer. I would just avoid using regular cucumbers as they have a ton of seeds. If you do end up using those, I suggest slicing the cucumber in half and running a spoon over the flesh to deseed the cucumber as much as possible before using it in the salad. the seeds really won’t be pleasant in the salad.
- Roma tomatoes: I like to use ripened tomatoes and remove the seeds before dicing them finely. You could leave the seeds in if you prefer but they do make the salad a bit watery.
- Red Onion: I use a red onion for this recipe, but you could also use white or yellow onion if you’d like. A local Middle Eastern restuaurant in town uses the whites of scallions instead of a red onion, so you could do that as well. Red onions bring so much color to the salad!
- Fresh Parsley: Adds a bit of color and lots of flavor. Keep in mind that you only need a quarter cup of fresh parsley for this recipe, not a lot like you would use to make tabbouleh. You can also add a handul of cilantro if you’d like!
- Olive Oil: I suggest using a high quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe. Since the dressing is added on and the salad is served cold, you’ll really be able to taste the quality of olive oil you use.
- Citrus juice: I use a combination of lemon juice and lime juice here. However, you could also use just one or the other if that’s what you have on hand.
- Dried Mint: I always have dried mint on hand so I add a couple of teaspoons to the dressing. Feel free to use fresh mint leaves and add it directly to the salad along with the parsley if you’d like.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Basic seasonings to season the dressing with.
How to make a Shirazi salad:
- Start by chopping the veggies. The great thing about this salad is that the prep time is next to nothing! And most of these ingredients are refrigerator and pantry staples, with the exception of one. You want the Persian cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes to all be roughly the same size. Take your time here, really cut the veggies slowly to make sure they’re all roughly the same size. I like to chop the veggies into just smaller than 1/2 inch pieces.
- Add them to a bowl. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and chopped parsley to a bowl.
- Make the dressing. In a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid or in a small bowl with a whisk, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, dried mint, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir, shake, or whisk to combine the dressing.
- Combine and serve. Add the combined dressing to the chopped vegetables. I use all of the dressing, but if you feel this might be too much you can add a tablespoon or two at a time until it’s dressed to your liking. Taste the salad and adjust with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. It’s usually perfect for us at this point! Serve immediately with grilled kabobs, your favorite dip, or anything else you like! As the prepared dressing marinates the vegetables it gets even more delicious – so good you could practically slurp it with a straw!
FAQs about Shirazi salad:
- My favorite restaurant adds [insert ingredient here] can I do that too? Yes, absolutely. A lot of restaurants will take the liberty of making the recipe their own. And if you enjoy it with a specific ingredient such as green bell peppers or scallions, feel free to swap something out or add that in!
- Can I make Shirazi salad in advance? You can prepare the dressing up to a week in advance and chop the cucumbers, onions, and parsley up to a day in advance. However, I suggest chopping the tomatoes and toss the salad with the dressing right before serving. The cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions start to break down once the acid touches them, so it’s best to consume them once tossed.
- How do you suggest storing leftovers? My first preference is to only make the amount of salad we can finish in one sitting. But leftovers do happen sometimes. I store them in an airtight container and try to consume them within 24 hours. Anything further and you’ll notice that the vegetables break down quite a bit.
If you like this recipe, you might also like these other salad recipes:
- Lebanese Fattoush Salad
- Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Power Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad Jars
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad (Potluck Salad)
- Lemon Basil Arugula Pasta Salad
- 5 Persian cucumbers, chopped
- 4 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice (or use 3 tbsp total and omit the other)
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- IN A BOWL: Add the chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and parsley to a medium bowl.
- DRESSING: In a mason jar or in a bowl with a whisk combine all the ingredients listed under the dressing section.
- COMBINE: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 7gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2g
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