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Turkish-Style Tomato Salad with Walnuts and Sumac

4 Servings

25 minutes

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The salad called gavurdagi salatasi is common to kebab restaurants in Turkey. With tomatoes, walnuts, sumac and pomegranate molasses as the defining flavors, the salad is sweet and tart, with a balanced richness. The ingredients are chopped, sometimes so finely the dish resembles salsa. But we kept this version chunky so the salad is more substantial and satisfying. We also finish it with crumbled halloumi, a semi-hard brined cheese from Cyprus; feta is a fine substitute. Look for pomegranate molasses in the international aisle of the supermarket; sumac may be shelved there, too, or in the spice aisle. This salad is a great side to grilled meats of any kind—especially kababs, or serve it as a light main with crusty bread, pita or lavash.




Don’t use tomatoes that aren’t ripe. Plump, ripe tomatoes make a more succulent, fuller-flavored and brightly colored salad. In non-summer months, we find Campari or cocktail tomatoes to be dependably good. Don’t forget to toast the walnuts and allow them to cool before use. Toasting enhances their flavor, making them taste richer and nuttier. Their texture crisps with cooling.

25 minutes


  • 1

    medium red onion, finely chopped

  • ½

    English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and roughly chopped


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Jon S.

I could use a bit of clarification on the first paragraph of the instructions, or at least, the salt therein. 'Tis written as, '¼ teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon each salt and black pepper.' Thanks!

Lynn C.

Hi Jon -

You're absolutely right - how confusing! The amounts should read "1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper." We've made that correction on the recipe. Thanks for bringing the error to our attention!

The Milk Street Team

Siri N.

This combined ingredients I'm always eager to cook with - sumac, pomegranate molasses, and halloumi - so I was excited to try it, but I found it sort of meh. Would probably be great to replace the arugula with a grain and a bit more dressing.