Shirazi Salad is a Persian delicacy that is tangy, citrusy, crunchy, and loaded with mint and herbs: a real summer show stopper. Made with diced tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, seasoned with a crisp sumac dressing, it is the perfect accompaniment for mezze meals and light lunches. A must for hot days paired with a chilled glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Shirazi salad in a bowl with flatbreads and a glass of wine on the side

What is Shirazi salad?

Shirazi salad, also known as Salad-e Shirazi, is a traditional Iranian dish made with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and fresh herbs. It originates in the beautiful city of Shiraz in southwestern Iran and is typically seasoned with a tart salad dressing made with unripe grape juice (called ab-ghooreh) and olive oil giving it its classic tanginess. Shirazi salad is often served as a side dish or accompaniment to main courses, providing a refreshing complement to any meal.

Why you should try this recipe

  • A modern version of Shirazi salad made with easy-to-find ingredients – traditional ab-ghooreh is not easy to find where I live. I replaced it with a bright lime and sumac dressing using both lime juice and zest for bold flavors and tartness. A must-try!
  • Easy to make – with step-by-step instructions on how to dice vegetables easily! Just chop the ingredients, make the super quick sumac dressing, mix them together, and you’re done!
  • Vegan, super fresh, and nutritious – perfect for light summer lunches, and suits many dietary restrictions.
  •  Traditional Persian dish bursting with flavors – tangy, citrusy, crunchy, loaded with fresh herbs: this salad is perfect for a mezze meal, served with Mutabbal, Muhammara with Fresh Pomegranate and Fluffy Skillet Flatbreads.
Persian cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, mint, parsley, cilantro, sumac, olive oil, lime and salt

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The ingredients you’ll need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the end of the post.)

  • Cucumber – I love using small Persian cucumbers for their crisp crunch but a regular English cucumber works well too.
  • Red onion – for its bright color and crispy texture.
  • Fresh herbs – I used mint, cilantro, and flat-leaf parsley. Don’t hesitate to throw in some dill if you have it on hand.

For the sumac dressing :

  • Sumac – for its brings color with its deep red hue and unmistakable citrusy tartness.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – the higher quality, the better.
  • Lime juice AND zest – for the zippiest dressing that really elevates this salad.
  • Salt and ground black pepper – to season.
fresh mint leaves

How to make Shirazi Salad with Sumac Dressing?

(Note: please see the recipe card below for the complete written instructions and measurements.)

Start by making the sumac dressing:

  • In a jar with a lid (here I’m using an old jam jar), add extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, pepper, salt, lime zest, and sumac.
  • Shake until emulsified (the texture must be thicker and all the ingredients well combined).
  • Set aside.

How to dice vegetables?

To dice cucumbers:

  • Thoroughly rinse the cucumbers under cold water and pat them dry with a kitchen cloth.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of the cucumber, then cut it lengthwise into halves.
  •  Laying it cut-side down on the cutting board, cut the cucumber lengthwise into ¼-inch thick stripes.
  • Cut each stripe lengthwise into a “french fries” shape.
  • Line the cucumber stripes and slice them crosswise into ¼-inch small cubes.

To dice tomatoes:

  • Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the stems.
  • Place the tomato halves cut-side down and cut them into ¼-inch slices.
  • Stack the slices on top of each other and cut them into ¼-inch strips.
  • Cut them crosswise into ¼-inch small cubes.

To dice red onion:

  • Cut the onion in half from top to bottom, so that the root remains intact. Keep only one half for this recipe.
  • Peel off the skin and lay the onion cut side facing down.
  • Make horizontal cuts, working your way toward the root end, without going all the way through to the root.
  • Make vertical cuts down the onion without cutting all the way through to the root.
  • Slice crosswise to remove the diced pieces.

  • Transfer the chopped vegetables to a large bowl. Add the chopped mint, coriander, and parsley and toss until combined.
  • Just before serving, shake the sumac dressing and pour it on top of the salad. Stir well to coat. Sprinkle some optional extra sumac and serve immediately.
  • Serve with fluffy flatbreads and a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio!

Shirazi salad in a bowl with an herb chopper and a glass of wine on the side

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Choosing cucumbers – smaller cucumbers such as Persian cucumbers are crunchier and more flavorful than bigger cucumbers that are sometimes watery.
  2. Salad dressing container: if you do not have a jar with a lid (aka an old jam jar in my case), use a bowl and whisk to emulsify the dressing.
  3. Adding the sumac dressing at the last minute ensures that the veggies stay crunchy.

Shirazi salad in a bowl with flatbreads on the side

Wine Pairing for Shirazi Salad 🍷


SAUVIGNON BLANC

This vibrant grape variety produces crisp aromatic white wines with aromas of green apple, citrus, boxwood, and flint.

Sauvignon Blanc will match the delicate vegetal flavors of cilantro, parsley, and mint thanks to its herbaceous aroma while complimenting the tanginess of the sumac dressing with its natural acidity and citrus notes.

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Valley (Chile)
  • Sauvignon Blanc from Alto Adige (Italy)
  • Pouilly Fumé from the Loire Valley (France)

close-up of Shirazi salad with sumac dressing in a bowl a a spoon

FAQ

Can I make Shirazi Salad ahead of time?

Yes! Make the salad as instructed in this post but do not add the sumac dressing. Store in the fridge up to the day before and add the dressing just before serving. Adding it at the last minute prevents the salaf from getting soggy.


How long does it last? 

Shirazi salad is best enjoyed immediately. However, it can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. It will be less crunchy but delicious as the veggies will have soaked up the flavors even more.

What to serve with Shirazi salad?

Fluffy Flatbreads or Pita bread are delicious with this salad. For a mezze-style meal, serve this Shirazi Salad with a creamy Mutabbal (Middle-Eastern Eggplant Dip) or bright Muhammara with Fresh Pomegranate.

Other delicious Middle-Eastern Recipes


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Shirazi salad in a blue bowl with flatbreads and a glass of wine on the side

Shirazi Salad with Sumac Dressing

5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time : 20 minutes
Total Time : 20 minutes
Servings : 4
Shirazi Salad is a Persian delicacy that is tangy, citrusy, crunchy, and loaded with mint and herbs: a real summer show stopper. Made with diced tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, seasoned with a crisp sumac dressing, it is the perfect accompaniment for mezze meals and light lunches. A must for hot days paired with a chilled glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

INGREDIENTS
 

For the sumac dressing

  • cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (the juice of about 2 limes)
  • the zest of one lime about ½ tablespoon
  • ½ tablespoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Shirazi salad

  • 3 (450 g) Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, about 1 pound or 450 g
  • 1 pound (450 g) ripe tomatoes (prefer vine tomatoes for bolder flavors)
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cup (15 g) fresh mint, thinly chopped
  • cup (10 g) flat leave parsley
  • cup (10 g) fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by making the sumac dressing:

  • In a jar with a lid (here I'm using an old jam jar), add extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, sumac, pepper, and salt.
  • Shake until emulsified (the texture must be slightly thicker and all the ingredients well combined).
  • Set aside.

Make the salad:

  • Rinse the tomatoes and cucumbers thoroughly. Peel the onion.
  • Dice the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion into ¼ cubes (see the detailed technique above in the post).
  • Add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Chop the fresh mint, parsley, and cilantro, and add to the salad. Stir until everything is combined.
  • Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, add the sumac dressing, and toss everything until well coated.
  • Enjoy with warm fluffy flatbreads and a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

NOTES

  1. Choosing cucumbers - smaller cucumbers such as Persian cucumbers are crunchier and more flavorful than bigger cucumbers that are sometimes watery.
  2. Salad dressing container: if you do not have a jar with a lid (aka an old jam jar in my case), use a bowl and whisk to emulsify the dressing.
  3. Adding the sumac dressing at the last minute ensures that the veggies stay crunchy.
Calories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gSodium: 304mgPotassium: 438mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1748IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 1mg
Course Salad
Cuisine Middle-Eastern
Diet Vegan
Did you make this recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below to let me know how it went!
5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Salade fraîcheur réhaussée de menthe et de citron vert ! le sumac que je ne connaissais pas apporte une belle note originale. Merci pour l’accord très réussi avec le Pouilly !