This bright and colorful Shirazi salad takes uber-fresh ingredients like Persian cucumbers and Roma tomatoes and pairs them with parsley, and lemon to create a crisp, light salad.
I'm a huge fan of no-greens salads, especially when they're dressed in a quick and easy dressing like olive oil and citrus. This Salad-e Shirazi is a classic Persian recipe, and this cooling, cucumber tomato salad is one my mom would make for us all summer long.
Why this Recipe Works
Persian cucumbers and Roma tomatoes are a fantastic pairing for a fresh crunchy salad. Unlike English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers are less watery which gives them a crisper bite. They are mild with a very subtle sweetness, which matches the tang and acidity of the tomatoes and lemon juice in the dressing.
This salad takes only three steps to make, and aside from chopping your ingredients, it needs very little prep at all. This salad is known for its finely diced ingredients, but they don't have to be perfect by any means.
It's naturally vegan, and only contains ingredients you can easily find at the grocery store.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Cucumber – you'll be able to recognize Persian cucumbers as they are much smaller and shorter in size.
Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes have a distinct shape, and are a bit bigger than plum tomatoes. You could sub in plum tomatoes but they will be slightly less crisp and more watery in the salad.
Red onion – This is traditional to Shirazi salad. The flavor of most other onions used raw won't work as well in the salad.
Parsley – Use fresh parsley, not dried.
Mint – This is an optional inclusion, but a great one. Use fresh mint leaves, not dried.
Lemons – Wash your lemons prior to cooking so the zest is good to eat.
Olive oil – Use high-quality olive oil if you can for the dressing. As the dressing is so simple, the oil's quality really makes it.
How to Make this Recipe
Let's dive in and make this dish. First, add all the prepped ingredients to a large serving bowl.
Mix them all together well. Taste the salad and adjust to your liking for salt, pepper, and lemon.
Serve it fresh.
Not long at all, it really is best enjoyed freshly made. If you are storing it to serve later that day, it will stay fresh in the fridge for a few hours.
It doesn't, as there is traditionally no cheese added and no dairy in the dressing. However, if you'd like you can customize it with feta or other types of cheese.
Shirazi salad is an Iranian dish, which originates from the city of Shiraz in the south of Iran. The ingredients and flavors in the salad are ones you will see reflected throughout Persian, Iranian, and broader Middle Eastern cuisine.
This salad is fantastic alone but works well as a side dish for other great Persian/Iranian dishes like kabob barg and joojeh kabob.
Serve this salad with...
If you love Persian cuisine, you'll love to serve this recipe with one or more of these favorites:
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15-Minute Shirazi Salad - Persian Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 1 lb tomato finely diced*
- 1 lb cucumber finely diced*
- ⅓ lb red onion finely diced*
- 1.5 oz. Parsley minced
- 2 tablespoon mint minced (optional)
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice with (optional) zest, plus more to taste, 2 lemons, or ab gooreh**
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
- Add all the ingredients to a serving bowl.
- Mix well, taste, and adjust for salt, pepper, and lemon.
- Serve immediately.
Love all of the flavors and the fine dice is everything!