This Persian Shirazi Salad is a quick and easy salad to make in 10 minutes.Filled with fresh and vibrant flavors, dressed with olive oil and lime, this is a perfect side-dish to pair with many dishes.
It is made with simple, easily available ingredients and is a popular Iranian salad, for it’s fresh and flavorful taste and ease in making.
It is popularly called Salad-E- Sherazi in Persian culture.
Why is it called Shirazi Salad?
Named for the city in southwestern Iran, salad-e Shirazi/Shirazi Salad is found on almost on every Iranian table at practically every meal.
Samin Nosrat in her book Salt,Fat, Acid, Heat writes, “Think of it as an herbier, juicier, more tart version of Greek salad, Israeli salad or Indian kachumber, and eat it alongside any rice dish or on its own”.
It’s simplicity, flavor and texture makes it an appealing salad to be served alongside rice and stews in Persian meals.
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What are the ingredients used in making Shirazi Salad?
It is best to use Persian cucumbers which have less seeds and are sweeter with thin skin, for this recipe.
If Persian cucumbers are not available in your area, you may use English cucumbers instead.
Try to avoid using slicing cucumbers, for this recipe, as they have thick waxy skin which can turn out bitter in flavor, if used in this recipe.
I use Roma tomatoes for this recipe.Pick the ones that are firm with a slight give.
Some recipes advice you to remove the tomato seeds,I did not for this recipe.
If you are using over ripe tomatoes that are juicier, throw the cut pieces into a colander to remove excess liquid.
Red onions are milder in taste than the white ones, so I prefer to use them in my salads.
If you find red onions pungent, you may choose to use shallots instead, in this recipe.
Green Bell Pepper
Adding green bell pepper to this recipe makes it crunchier, tastier and more vibrant. It is completely optional though.
The original authentic recipe calls for adding dried and crushed mint as the herb.
Since, I did not have dried or fresh mint handy, I used cilantro instead.
Most Mediterranean salads only need two basic ingredients extra virgin olive oil and citrus as dressing, along with salt and pepper which can be whisked together and added to the vegetables.
The dressing can also be added just before serving.
The traditional recipe calls for sour grape juice/ab-e-ghooreh instead of lime juice, as the common acid added to the salad dressing.
How to make Shirazi Salad?
Dice and chop veggies small
For this salad it is important to chop and dice the veggies small, almost 1/4 inch pieces. It need not be as small as we dice them for making Tabbouleh, yet it makes for a more presentable salad when all the pieces are uniformly diced.
Best to use Persian cucumbers for this salad, if not use English cucumbers as both of them are sweeter and seedless( or with less seeds).Avoid using slicing cucumbers for this recipe, for the same reason we mentioned above.They might turn the salad bitter in taste owing to their thick waxy skin.
While using Roma tomatoes, make sure to see if they are firm to touch. Overripe tomatoes get juicier in a salad, so best to drain the liquid by placing the tomato chunks in a colander before adding them to the salad.I use Roma tomatoes for this recipe.
Adding in herbs and seasoning
The traditional recipe calls for adding dried mint.
If you are not using dried mint, you can use fresh mint ( 1/2 cup) instead, for this recipe.
Season with salt and pepper.
Some prefer in addition to use, Sumac a deep red spice made from sumac berries. This spice is most commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking.This spice tends to add some depth and tang to this salad when used.
Most Mediterranean salads only require a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and citrus juice (2-3 tbsp of lime juice).
The authentic Iranian Shirazi salad uses ab-e-ghooreh or sour grape juice. Since, I did not have it, I only added lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, it still tasted great.
- Amount Per ServingCalories498
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 43g 67%
- Saturated Fat 6g 30%
- Sodium 19mg 1%
- Potassium 963mg 28%
- Total Carbohydrate 30g 10%
- Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
- Sugars 14g
- Protein 5g 10%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
How to serve your salad?
If you are serving the salad right away, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper together in a serving bowl and then add the diced vegetables on top and gently toss them. This allows the flavors to mix well.
If you like your salad more on the crunchy side, don’t dress it with the lime juice and olive oil until you’re ready to serve.
If you like your salad more juicier and bolder in taste, dress it and then keep covered and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, before serving.
Essential Kitchen Tools for making the best Salad
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Read all about it here or by clicking the image below.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
This Shirazi salad is best served right away, so the vegetables are nice and crunchy to bite.
If you need to prepare ahead, then place the chopped vegetables in the refrigerator and drizzle the already prepared dressing just before serving. (You may prepare and store the dressing in the refrigerator for 4-5 days ahead )When ready to serve, toss the salad and serve.
What can I serve this salad with?
You can serve this salad with any Persian rice and stew preparations.This salad is usually served as a side dish.
If you want to have this salad as a complete meal, then you may even add some shredded chicken to the salad.If you prefer a vegan version, then add some chickpeas as protein to the salad.
It also tastes great with our tried and tested recipes, listed below:
The Bottom Line
If you enjoyed making our quick and easy Shirazi salad, inspired by Persian food and culture, do share it with your friends and family with #stirringmyspicysoul.They can always subscribe to our weekly newsletters and regular updates by signing up here or by visiting our blog