Iranian Shirazi salad is a very easy-to-make salad that contains many fresh and delicious tastes. It also contains olive oil and lime which makes it a good choice to be served with many foods. This easy salad is fresh, tasty and can be easily and quickly prepared. The required ingredients for making this delicious salad are very simple and accessible. This is one of the most popular salads among Iranian people.
Why is it known as Shirazi salad?
The salad takes its name from the city of Shiraz which is located in the Southern part of Iran. This salad is very much like a classic Greek salad or a Fattoush salad. The appearance, taste and simplicity are the factors that make it an attractive salad and it’s usually eaten with Iranian foods.
The necessary ingredients for making Shirazi salad
Tomato is one of the most important ingredients of this salad. It is better to choose tomatoes that are hard. Although you can deseed the tomatoes, it is not required. If tomatoes are overripe, when you want to cut them into small cubes, put them in a colander to remove additional liquid.
Cucumber is another important ingredient of Shirazi salad. You are allowed to make use of either English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers. Since both of them are without seeds, have a sweet taste and soft skin so there is no need to peel them. You must avoid utilizing slicing cucumbers since they have a hard, waxy skin and can have a bitter taste.
Onion is the third main ingredient of Shirazi salad. You must cut onions into small pieces. You can also make use of shallots; it is a good decision since it has a less sharp taste.
4.Green Bell Pepper
It is not an obligatory item and depends on your personal preferences, but it can add additional taste. You can make use of seeded and chopped green bell pepper.
This is one of the unique and distinctive features of Shirazi salad. Usually dried, crushed mint is preferable for making this salad. But you can also utilize both dry mint and fresh mint. If dry mint is not accessible to you, you can utilize chopped fresh mint instead.
Most people prefer to prepare this salad just by mint (dry or fresh), but some people also use other fresh herbs, which is really delicious. You can make use of parsley, dill, and cilantro. You can utilize only one of the three herbs or a mixture of three herbs. This is up to you.
You can make use of kosher salt, black pepper and also sumac. Sumac is an elegant red spice that is produced from sumac berries. It is a very popular spice that is used in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Sumac has a strong taste and smell that makes it distinct from lemon or lime juice. It’s totally optional, but it is a highly advisable spice. You can add a very amazing taste to your salad with this wonderful spice.
Shirazi salad is very similar to other Mediterranean salads in that it needs citrus and excellent extra virgin olive oil. Since ab-e-ghooreh (sour grape juice), which is typically used in this salad is not easily accessible, you can make use of the juice of limes in this salad. It is also possible to utilize extra virgin olive oil. The rich and delicious taste of it really improves this salad.
How to make Shirazi salad as a very unique salad
You can easily and rapidly prepare this extremely delicious salad.
1. Chop or dice vegetables accordingly
To make this salad, it is necessary to dice or chop cucumbers, tomatoes, green bell peppers, and onions. It should not be too small like tabouli, but similar to Mexican pico de gallo. The cucumbers and tomatoes should be cut into small pieces. The chopped vegetables must be rapidly soaked in a marinade and absorb the gorgeous herbs and citrus from the lime juice!
It is advisable to utilize ripe tomatoes, but do not use overripe tomatoes since they are usually too soft. As it was mentioned before, the initial step (if you do not want to remove the seeds of the tomato) is to put them in a colander to let them get rid of their juice before mixing them with the other vegetables. For the cucumbers, as it was mentioned before it’s better to utilize seedless cucumbers, English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers, which do not need peeling. If these are not accessible to you or you have to utilize slicing cucumbers, you must peel and deseed them.
2. Add herbs and seasonings
You can make use of dry mint as the main herb. If you do not have access to dry mint, make use of chopped fresh mint, instead. You can also make use of a mixture of parsley and dill. Then you can add spices like kosher salt, black pepper, and sumac (sumac is optional but is a very delicious spice).
3. Make salad dressing
You can make the dressing in the same bowl. You should just add lime juice and some drops of extra virgin olive oil
Practical tips for preparing Shirazi salad
1.Remove the seeds of the tomatoes for better results
Roma tomatoes contain a lot of water, particularly when cut to the size required for this salad. If you like, deseed the tomatoes.
2.Cut into small pieces everything equally
It provides the salad with a uniform and makes every piece delicious with all the various tastes and textures.
3.Toss the salad instantly before eating
The salad should be crispy and fresh and tossing it immediately before eating it makes it more delicious.
4.Taste and balance seasoning with salt and lime juice as required
Based on the size and taste of the other substances, it may be necessary to change the seasoning.