Salad-e Shirazi (Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad) Recipe (2024)

By Samin Nosrat

Salad-e Shirazi (Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad) Recipe (1)

Total Time
20 minutes
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Named for the city in southwestern Iran, salad-e Shirazi is found on practically every Iranian table at practically every meal. Think of it as an herbier, juicier, more acidic version of Greek salad, Israeli salad or Indian kachumber. It should be bright, crunchy and tart, a nice counterpoint to rich, buttery rice and unctuous stews. Toss the cucumbers, onion, herbs and tomatoes with the lime vinaigrette just before serving to preserve their crunch. In Iran, dining companions usually fight over the leftover juice at the end of a meal.

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Yield:6 to 8 servings (about 5 cups)

  • 3 to 4Persian cucumbers (about ¾ pound)
  • ½red onion, diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2tablespoons any combination of finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, basil or dill
  • 1teaspoon dried mint
  • 2 to 3medium tomatoes (about 1 pound)
  • ¼cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes), plus more as needed
  • 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

67 calories; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 281 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Salad-e Shirazi (Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad) Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Remove alternating stripes of peel on cucumbers and trim ends. Dice cucumbers into ¼-inch pieces and place in a large bowl with onion and fresh herbs. Using your fingers to break up any large pieces, gently grind the dried mint into the bowl. Remove tomato cores, dice remaining tomatoes into ¼-inch pieces and add to bowl.

  2. In a small bowl, make a vinaigrette by whisking together ¼ cup lime juice, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Just before serving, dress vegetables with vinaigrette and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice as needed. This salad should be bright, crunchy and tart, a nice counterpoint for rich, buttery rice and unctuous stews. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.



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Cooking Notes


A convenient source of dried mint can be found in "herbal" mint tea bags.


As a cook from Shiraz, I can say confidently it's Not the original recipe, instead of lime you should use verjuice (from unripe grapes) and also green onion is preferred to red one. It dramatically can change the outcome and you probably would find it more tastey and delicate. Also please forget the olive oil.


I was just looking at this recipe in "Cooking in Iran" by Najmieh Batmanglij. She suggests either verjuice or lime juice. She also has olive oil in the recipe, but says it's optional. Verjuice is not easily sourced in the U.S. and many cooks wouldn't be able to make this if we couldn't substitute.


As Persian-American, I make this salad daily, I always use fresh squeezed lemon juice and if you can't find lemons then use lime. so it is not a big deal :-) Hope this helps :-)


As opposed to lime juice, (which is a substitution) or Verjuice (which can be expensive) go for the real deal: any Middle Eastern grocery store is sure to carry "SOUR GRAPE JUICE" (brands are Sadaf and Golchin). It's cheap, inimitable and makes this salad. While you are there, grab some dried mint (comes in hanging cellophane pkgs) ! It's better quality and, again, cheaper than that found in chain grocery stores. Thank you, Sami, for bringing the great Persian cuisine,to a wider audience.


Like others, I used a little bit of fresh mint (can't use too much) instead of dry mint and a pinch of fresh tarragon in addition to the recipe's good portions of fresh basil, parsley and cilantro, well-stemmed and chopped fine. Given all the work I doubled the amount of herbs for the given volume of cucumber & tomato, and used small sweeter (not cherry but small) tomatoes. I also dressed it a couple of hours in advance as I found the flavors all blend together better once the vinaigrette is add


Disagree with those who object to notes describing substitutions. They are full of useful information.


I have prepared this as one of my summer sides since finding the recipe. It is wonderful as written, and also keeps well a few days.Recently, I had prepared quite a bit more than needed, and found about 2 cups languishing in the back of fridge. Didn’t look as fresh and inviting after a week. So I dumped it all in blender and puréed the crazies out of it. Gazpacho! Just needed a drop of Tabasco.


What is a Persian cucumber??


Rating vs. Making Notes: if I diverged from the recipe & the results were noteworthy, or if the recipe is one I know from my own experience but seems to have key differences here, I'd Make Note of it (because that's what this section is ideally, a forum for cooks to talk and learn from each other) - however, I wouldn't rate it. Rating is for following the recipe closely. But I don't get the hate aimed at the subbers - how are you so sure they actually rated it? [This note made Without rating.]


Back in my college days my Iranian boyfriend used to make this all of the time but he subbed green onions for red and added a healthy dose of olive oil. It was delicious served over the multi-step rice that he prepared and kebabs. I remember those meals well.


Dry mint have a better aroma and taste, especially as a spice. Also black peper(grounded) is good option along with dry mint


Samin is such a talented, bright, and humble soul. i absolutely love her way of cooking and her recipes are flawless!

Lisa Kav

Super quick and easy. I was hesitant about the dried mint but it was lovely! Served with Sam Sifton’s oven roasted Shawarma and saffron rice.


Growing up the adults made martini-like beverages from the leftover juice for a fruity acidic digestif. Just an idea


This was the perfect complement to Samin's recipe for Ash Resheh, which is simply amazing. This was bright and light and perfectly delightful!


Very good! We prefer fresh herbs so usually use any combination of mint, parsley or cilantro depending on what we have on hand. Very simple and a great addition to falafel, fish, or chicken. Recommend doubling if feeding four or more. Leftovers are fantastic (if any is left!). Thank you, Samin!

mimi in sicily

Fantastic.....the best ever


This was soooo delicious. Had it on toast the next morning for breakfast (panzanella in my mouth), dumped a can of garbanzo beans in it for lunch. Eagerly planning the next time.


Could eat this all day. I didn't have lime so used lemon instead. Didn't have mint either - next time. Very good.

Ona Colasante

Whether it's inauthentic or not, the olive oil takes this salad over the top. Maybe its my Italian heritage, but I wouldn't like it nearly as much without it.


Kalustyan's sells verjus- both Sadaf and Sham's.


I used a combo of pomegranate molasses and lime juice. Fresh mint, cilantro and dill. Agree that red onion is too strong. Wonderful summer salad.


I cannot stop making and eating this. I'm not one of the authenticity police. Duke Ellington had it right (to paraphrase): If it tastes good, it is good. I did get sour grape juice (it takes a little more than if one uses lime juice, because it is slightly less acidic), for the fun of it. (A good international market nearby.) And yes, drink the juice!


No notes! Love this salad


This was so good. A great addition to summer salads.


Very good. Follow the sequencing of ingredients.


My mom, Iran, is from Shiraz, she made this salad early morning everyday with addition of parsley, very notorious. Now I appreciate this culinary kitchen which is in my opinion the healthiest of all.

Corlan Johnson

I have dried fresh mint… the microwave.


Very good. Brenda added feta.

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Salad-e Shirazi (Persian Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad) Recipe (2024)
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