Shirazi salad is a staple on the Iranian table and is always served with a variety of Persian stews and rice. If you’ve had the fortune of dining in the home of an Iranian host you understand our version of extravagant hospitality. My mom, like most Iranian women, will easily spend an entire day (including a portion of the previous day) preparing at least two complex stews, a variety of rice dishes, and a slew of sides in anticipation of company. Even though my dinner parties consist only of a main dish and dessert making this Shirazi salad always reminds me of my mother’s hospitality and makes me feel like I’m making her proud.
This is a great salad to make ahead of time to allow the vegetables to macerate and the flavors to deepen. I quick pickle the red onions in vinegar to take the edge off before mixing them with the other ingredients.
A traditional Persian chopped salad macerated in a bright lemon vinaigrette.
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 english cucumber, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- Juice of 2 lemons
- ¼ Cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Dried mint *optional
- Dice the onion and place it in a large bowl with the red wine vinegar. Let the onion pickle in the vinegar for 20 minutes in the refrigerator while you dice the tomatoes and cucumber.
- Add the diced cucumber and tomatoes to the bowl with the onions and dress with lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 tsp of salt with ½ tsp ground black pepper.
- Toss the salad until all the vegetable pieces are well coated.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Shirazi salad releases a lot of liquid, which is normal and delicious. Serve with a slotted spoon so the excess liquid drains.