Shiraz is one of the most historic, storied, and down-right poetic cities of Iran. It makes sense then that salad Shirazi – literally: “salad from Shiraz”- elevates the perfectly pedestrian affair of a cucumber, tomato, and onion salad into one that is still simple but also one that sings. Dicing and proportion are the alchemical steps that turn the everyday ingredients into a whole that is distinctly delightful.
Salad Shirazi is a favorite summer-time side-dish, but also makes a year-round perfect accompaniment to any meat-centric menu like steak or kabob.
It is also quite delicious on its own, and with some bread and cheese and walnut makes a fantastic meal: light, crunchy, refreshing, and zestily flavorful. —Fig and Quince
Persian cucumbers (small, seedless)
small red onion
finely chopped parsely (optional)
freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Dice cucumbers, tomato and onion as fine as 1/4" if possible or 1/2" - in any event, dice all uniformly. You want to end up with a 1, 1, 1/3 ratio of diced cucumbers, tomato and onion. So for example: 1 cup each of cucumber and tomato, and 1/3 cup of onion.
In a serving bowl, toss diced ingredients with: chopped parsley (if you’re using it), dried ground mint crushed between palms of your hands, freshly squeezed lemon juice (err on overusing lemon juice than using too little), olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Chill for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge (allowing all the flavors and juices to blend and soak in) and serve. Note: this salad is best made shortly before serving, because the mixture of lemon and other juices will turn sour if left for too long.