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Salt keeps this salad's flavors bold and texture crisp
Milk Street Bowtie Persian Tomato and Cucumber Salad (Shirazi Salad)

Persian Tomato and Cucumber Salad (Shirazi Salad)

Appears in July-August 2019

30 minutes (15 minutes active)

Persian Tomato and Cucumber Salad (Shirazi Salad)

Free

Ripe summer tomatoes shine in this simple salad inspired by a recipe from Najmieh Batmanglij’s book “Cooking in Iran.” To make the dish out of season, try Campari tomatoes (sometimes called cocktail tomatoes), which have a better texture than other varieties in the off seasons. English cucumbers have fewer seeds and thinner skins than the typical garden variety. Even better are smaller Persian cucumbers. If you find them, you'll need 12 ounces. And simply slice them into ½-inch rounds; no need for seeding. The dressing is bracingly fresh and sharp; if you prefer a mellower, slightly richer salad, drizzle in the optional olive oil just before serving.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t bypass the step of salting the cucumber and tomatoes. They will release about ½ cup of liquid, moisture that otherwise would make the salad watery and dilute.

30 minutes

(15 minutes active)

1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, then cut into ½-inch pieces
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts reserved separately
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Ingredients
  • 1

    English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, then cut into ½-inch pieces

  • pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 3

    scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts reserved separately

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, finely grated

  • 1

    tablespoon dried mint

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ¼ cup lime juice

  • ¼

    cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

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Persian Tomato and Cucumber Salad (Shirazi Salad)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

30 minutes

(15 minutes active)

Tip

Don’t bypass the step of salting the cucumber and tomatoes. They will release about ½ cup of liquid, moisture that otherwise would make the salad watery and dilute.

Ingredients
  • 1

    English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, then cut into ½-inch pieces

  • pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 3

    scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts reserved separately

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, finely grated

  • 1

    tablespoon dried mint

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ¼ cup lime juice

  • ¼

    cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Step 1 of 3

Salt Cucumbers and Tomatoes

1
English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, then cut into ½-inch pieces
pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1
teaspoon kosher salt

In a large colander, combine the cucumber and tomatoes, then set in the sink. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and gently toss to combine.


Let stand for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice to encourage the liquid to drain.

Step 2 of 3

Combine Ingredients

3
scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts reserved separately
¼
teaspoon kosher salt
1
medium garlic clove, finely grated
1
tablespoon dried mint
1
teaspoon grated lime zest, plus ¼ cup lime juice

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the scallion whites and ¼ teaspoon salt, then use your hands to gently rub the salt into the scallions until slightly softened and wilted.


Stir in the garlic, mint and lime zest and juice; set aside until the cucumbers and tomatoes are ready.

Step 3 of 3

Toss Salad

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Transfer the cucumbers and tomatoes to the bowl with the scallion whites. Add ½ teaspoon pepper, the scallion greens and cilantro and toss.


Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the oil (if using).

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