This shirazi salad recipe is made with fresh vegetables, chickpeas, and tangy citrus dressing. Make this salad to serve with dinner tonight!
What’s great about this refreshing shirazi salad is that it comes together in just 10 minutes, then chills while you grill up the main course.
The name means “from Shiraz,” which is a large city in southwestern Iran.
While similar to a Mediterranean salad, the flavors are brighter from the citrus and fresh herbs in the dressing.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Persian cucumbers - These are small, thin-skinned cucumbers with very low water content, making them crisp and mild in flavor. If you can’t find them, replace with english cucumbers or any other seedless variety.
- Tomatoes - Roma tomatoes are the best option for this shirazi salad recipe. Choose ones that are firm with just a little give to them so they hold their shape when diced. You can remove the seeds if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.
- Chickpeas - While not traditional, I like to add chickpeas in my version to bulk the salad up. Use canned or cook your own for an added source of protein and fiber, which also makes this a great vegetarian or vegan main course.
- Mint - Usually this dish is made with dried, crushed mint, but I like using fresh leaves for a milder flavor and added texture. Some recipes also include a combination of parsley, dill, and cilantro. Feel free to play with the flavors and include any combination of herbs to your taste.
- Citrus juice - Typically the dressing is made with a sour grape juice called ab-e-ghooreh, but this can be very difficult to find in the US. Instead, fresh lemon or lime juice is used to mimic the tart, refreshing flavors.
How to make shirazi salad
Just combine the vegetables, toss with homemade dressing, and chill in the refrigerator!
Hands down, one of the easiest salads you can put together.
- Dice the vegetables: Cut everything into small, uniform pieces and combine in a large bowl with the chickpeas.
- Make the dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients until well combined. Then, pour over the salad and toss well.
- Chill and serve: Place the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The longer it sits, the more the flavors combine with each other and absorb the citrus from the dressing.
- Storage - Keep covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Because it will last up to 5 days, it can be eaten throughout the week or made ahead of time.
- Vegetable size - It’s important to make sure the cucumber, tomatoes, and onions are all similar in size. Not only does this make the salad more appealing to look at, but it creates a nice texture when eating as well. Also, the dressing will be absorbed more evenly throughout the entire dish.
How to cook chickpeas
If you’ll be cooking dried chickpeas rather than using a canned product, you’ll need to cook them before adding them to the shirazi salad.
- Rinse and clean the dried beans in a mesh colander.
- Next, cover them with cool water and soak overnight (or at least 8 hours).
- Rinse them again and add to a large pot, then cover with water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 90 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender.
- Drain and cool before adding to the salad.
Shirazi Salad with Chickpeas
- 5 Persian cucumbers (See Note 1)
- 4 Roma tomatoes diced
- 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas drained
- ½ medium red onion diced
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 10 leaves fresh mint chopped (See Note 2)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Dice the tomato, cucumber and onion in small pieces (See Note 3). In a bowl mix the chopped vegetables with chickpeas. Set aside.
- Whisk together the citrus juice, olive oil, mint, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat thoroughly.
- Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 30 minutes and serve (See Note 4).
- Substitute 2 English cucumbers if you can’t find the smaller Persian, just use seedless cucumbers. Feel free to peel the cucumber, but the skin is so thin on the Persian I do not.
- Substitute 1 tablespoon dried mint.
- Be sure to keep the dice uniform in size, for visual and textural purposes.
- The longer the salad marinates the better as the flavors develop. Serve alongside any grilled meat or on its own.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.