Don’t let the simplicity of this classic Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Shirazi Salad, fool you. It is full of flavor and makes a colorful and healthy side dish to any meal.
Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those holidays that used to bring a lot of “upset” to my house. I have openly expressed how my husband feels about this “Hallmark Holiday”, so there is no use rehashing it. In all honesty, I really can’t blame him. I don’t get this holiday myself.
I used to like it, but after years of not really celebrating it, hating it, dreading it… years of buying stupid valentine cards for my kids to share with their friends, knowing they would all end up in the trash shortly after. What a waste.
Why do we need one day in the year to tell our loved ones that, well, we love them? Shouldn’t we be doing this everyday or most everyday?
I swore up and down to myself that I wouldn’t do a Valentine’s post. But, all over the web, all I see are heart shaped cookies, candies, sandwiches, pancakes… you name it.
My family knows I love them and adore them. I do my best to take care of them and feed them nutritious food. I even love to spoil them with their favorite meals and yes, sweets.
About Shirazi Salad
But this Valentine’s Day, I’m going back to the basics. My kids get so excited when I make them this Persian Salad Shirazi. It’s a simpler Persian salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and fresh parsley. And if I can find sweet tomatoes in February, then I score big time.
A cucumber tomato salad is very common among middle eastern countries, modifying the recipe slightly depending on region. The Israeli salad uses parsley. Some Persians like to use fresh mint. Greeks add feta to their salad. Indians sometimes add chili peppers to their salad, while Turkish cuisine includes long green peppers in theirs.
What to serve with Shirazi Salad
We love this salad with Persian kabob or any main dish like roasted chicken or even a smoked prime rib roast. We eat it all year round. And when you have sweet summer tomatoes, let the rainbow shine and make a real colorful salad.
It even makes a wonderful appetizer. Serve your salad Shirazi with pita bread or lavash.
Quinoa Shirazi Salad
To make a heartier salad, I like to mix in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa. The quinoa soaks up the dressing, so you will need to add more oil and lemon juice if you do mix in quinoa.
To make a light meal, mix in some chicken breast or shrimp. The options are only limited to your own imagination.
10 foodie things to show your family you love them EVERYDAY:
- Cook a home-cooked dinner for your family for most nights of the week.
- Keep it real, REAL food that is. If you can’t go 100% unprocessed, go 80%. Just take that first step.
- Read labels. If the box says “Whole-Grain” it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Read the fiber content. Read the sugar content. Don’t stop reading.
- Keep a fresh fruit bowl on the counter for easy snacks.
- Pack your lunch, whether you are in school or going to work.
- Shop local. Support local farmers and shop farmer’s markets. It guarantees the freshness of your produce.
- Introduce new foods and cultures frequently to the dining table.
- Keep it green. Serve something green in every meal you serve or eat.
- Pass on the sweets. Eat a piece of fruit instead. Teach your kids that you don’t need a fatty dessert everyday.
- Tell your family you love them everyday. Because if you know you are loved, you will take better care of yourself and you won’t eat the wrong foods for the wrong reasons.
- 4 Persian cucumbers
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 3 TBS chopped parsley
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- Chop vegetables and put in a serving bowl.
- Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Pour salad dressing and mix it evenly into the salad and serve.
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 55mg Carbohydrates: 9g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 4g Protein: 2g