June 23, 2012

Shirazi Salad

by Marjan

Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, mint, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper: this is the complete recipe. Need I say more? Simple ingredients, healthy, robust with flavor, and easy to prepare; this is the perfect salad to manage your summer diet.

Most wine connoisseurs are familiar with Shiraz wine. Shiraz is an ancient city in southern Iran. Famed for its Persepolis architecture of the great Persian Empire, Shiraz is synonymous to wine versed by our Persian poets such as Hafiz, Rumi, and Khayam. Most Iranians would agree residents of Shiraz are celebrated for their hospitality and cooking.

Warm summer days make it easy to not want to cook heavy labor intensive meals in the kitchen. Therefore, some evenings after work, I like to prepare this salad and enjoy it with a slice of bread and cheese. Leftovers are great the next day at work!

Typically, this simple, tangy flavorful salad is best enjoyed as a condiment side dish to many traditional Persian dishes such as Dam Pokh Tak, Kalam Polo, and  Lubia Polo. However, I work full time which doesn’t afford me the luxury of preparing some of my favorite Persian dishes which take hours to arrange. I will introduce to you in future article dishes that would compliment this salad. For now, try this salad all by itself, or with toasted bread, cheese and Shiraz wine. It will awaken your taste buds and help you fit easier into your summer swim suit!

Noushe Jaan.

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

4 Italian plum tomatoes
6 Japanese cucumbers (small cucumbers)
1 medium purple onion
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint (or ½ teaspoon crushed dried mint)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (substitute lemon juice if not available)

1. Finely chop all the vegetables to size equivalent of a chic pea. Vegetable pieces should be uniform in size and shape

2. Add mint, salt and pepper

3. Before serving, add olive oil and lime juice

4. Toss and serve immediately

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