over the holidays, my dear friends pam and wayne had a wonderful persian potluck with some of their persian friends. my contribution was a shirazi salad, a very classical persian salad very similar to our lebanese salads with lemon and olive oil, but without garlic—just like tabbouli. having recently eaten this tasty dish at a new persian restaurant in my neighborhood, salar's mediterranean grill, i concocted my own recipe based on discerning the flavors and ingredients of this quintessential persian salad. typically served in summertime, it's colors were just what was needed for a festive event to complement the kuku, chicken and saffron rice with beautiful and tart red barberries (zereshk polow), and kefta. luckily the discerning excellent persian chefs there loved my shirazi salad. i didn't peel the persian cucumbers since they're not waxed, and this variety has minimal seeds, making the texture crunchy not soggy.
my recipe: persian cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, parsley, dried mint since my fresh mint had frozen in the cold, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. the salad is minced and very refreshing and colorful. my photo showing before it's tossed and dressed.
a new persian international market in my neighborhood, PARS International Market, has the barberries if you decide to make zereshk polow! and they sell Alice's Kitchen, too! the owners are delightful, so if you're in the neighborhood, do check them out and tell them linda sent you!
here's a shirazi salad recipe from the iran chamber which has recipes for a number of persian favorites.
4 medium tomatoes
2 small cucumbers
1 medium onion
3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2-3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
200 grams fresh mint (or 1 teaspoon dry mint)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/6 teaspoon black pepper
Wash and peel cucumbers. Wash tomatoes and mint. Peel onion. Chop cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion very finely, and mix. Chop mint very finely and add. Add fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Mix well and serve cool.