Shirazi Salad

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: September 11, 2020

This Iranian Shirazi Salad recipe is one of the quickest, easiest and most delicious salads to make at home. It pairs perfectly with just about everything and is ready in minutes. Crunchy, sweet and a little sour it’s a versatile delight that’s an essential on any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern feast.

Shirazi Salad - a combination of tomatoes, onion and cucumber scattered with dried mint

I've long been a fan of Iranian food. From wonderful sour stews, complex pilafs and crunchy rice dishes to simple and healthy salads. This Shirazi salad, named after the Southern region of Iran, where it originated is a simple and healthy gem. A fantastic salad to have on hand to accompany and enhance an array of other flavours.

A simple Shirazi salad

The Persian Shirazi salad sits at most dinner tables in Iran as it is a very versatile dish that compliments most other offerings perfectly. As a salad, it's a burst of freshness to accompany richer foods like the Persian sour stew Fesenjān or a herbaceous hit of flavour from Gormeh Sabzi for example. There are essentially only three ingredients: tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Couldn't be simpler right?

Every Shirazi salad I've had in Persian restaurants serve it the same way. Each vegetable is carefully diced into tiny pieces - it may challenge your knife skills, but trust me, it's worth it - each mouthful is a perfect blend of vegetables. For this dish, I always make the effort to chop my veg nice and small, and I always peel my tomatoes too. Normally, this is a job I despise, but it really does make a difference to the final texture.

Quick tomato peeling tip

I like a slightly under ripe Roma tomato for this recipe. A tomato that has a firmness. That way, you can use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. I REALLY hate scoring and blanching tomatoes to remove the skin - I don't care how simple it may appear. It never is - get a vegetable peeler and you'll be done in no time! A firmer tomato will also give a nice texture to the salad.

Stuff you'll need

This salad is one of the quickest and simplest recipes to put together. There are a couple of key ingredients that will give the authentic Persian flavour, but fear not - all are able to be substituted if you can't find them.

  • Tomato, Cucumber and Red Onion - I like to finely dice each as mentioned above for the best texture.
  • Dried mint (or dill) - This is the authentic, traditional addition to any Shirazi Salad. Dried mint has a distinctive flavour over its fresh counterpart, it's what makes the salad authentic in flavour, but you can of course use dried dill or even fresh herbs.
  • Verjus - For the authentic Iranian flavour in the dressing, verjus/verjuice is used. Verjuice known as ab-ghooreh in Iranian is a product of grapes or sour fruits made into a light acidic liquid. Part way a vinegar, but lighter and fruity - it comes in red and white varieties, both are fine to use. I don't always have it, so I also include a recipe below for an alternative using lemon or lime juice.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - As with any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern salad, the best quality EVOO you can afford is suggested - you can taste the difference. I always have good quality oil that I specifically reserve for salads, and that I NEVER cook with.
Shirazi Salad - a combination of tomatoes, onion and cucumber scattered with dried mint

Step by Step

It couldn't be easier to make this salad, seriously only a few easy steps. It'll give your knife work a challenge, but don't worry if you're not too hot with a knife, anything goes.

  1. Finely dice the vegetables.

    To your best ability, remove the skin and seeds from the cucumber and die into small dice. Repeat with the peeled and seeded tomato and onion. If you're using Persian cucumber's they're typically smaller and have a thin skin, so may not need to be peeled - do a quick taste test before to determine.

  2. Mix together with the verjus and extra virgin olive oil

    There's also a recipe for a slightly different dressing if you can't get hold of verjus. We also add a little salt & pepper at this stage to build on the flavour.

  3. Garnish with lots of dried mint.

    You can also make Shirazi Salad with with dried dill, or a combination of fresh herbs like parsley, mint or dill.

Shirazi Salad - a combination of tomatoes, onion and cucumber scattered with dried mint

Serving and storing suggestions

Shirazi Salad is best eaten cold (refrigerator cold). It's one of the only salads I like to eat icy cold. It helps to refresh and cleanse the palette when cold and act as a cooling to other rich, spiced dishes.

Shirazi Salad will stay fresh in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container, but it's truly best eaten a few hours after you make it.

Ready to get cooking?

Next time you're preparing a Mediterranean of Middle Eastern dinner, be sure to remember this simple and quick Shirazi Salad recipe. It pairs with absolutely everything and plays well with any flavour. Making it part of your repertoire, you'll soon call on it for all kinds of meals, ready in minutes and packed with flavour, colour and texture. Enjoy!

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Got a question about Shirazi Salad or any of the ingredients? Let me know in the comments.

How do you eat Shirazi Salad?

Typically, Shirazi Salad is eaten as an accompaniment in small portions alongside a larger feast of other dishes. Pita or flatbreads are also often served alongside a Shirazi Salad.

What does Shirazi Mean?

It denotes a thing or person from the city of Shiraz in Iran.


What to serve with Shirazi Salad

I love shirazi salad served in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean style meze offering. Lots of small dishes that I can pick and mix. All the flavours work together in perfect harmony and you can make interesting flavour, texture and colour combinations of your own. This salad is so simple, ready in 10 minutes so not too taxing to include as part of a larger feast. Try some of these delicious Middle Eastern inspired dishes that will work perfectly with my Persian Shirazi Salad:


Shirazi Salad - a combination of tomatoes, onion and cucumber scattered with dried mint

Shirazi Salad

Rate this recipe

5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe
Recipe by Lee
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Iranian, Middle Eastern
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 156


  • 1 cucumber (medium) (peeled and de-seeded, then finely diced)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes (peeled, seeded and finely diced)
  • ½ red onion (small) (finely diced)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp verjus
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp dried mint

Alternative recipe to replace verjus


  • Combine the cucumber, tomato and onion.
  • Whisk together the oil and verjus and add a little salt and pepper.
  • If you don't have verjus, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, lime juice and a little salt & pepper.
  • Toss the dressing into the salad and then season with the dried mint.
  • Refrigerate until needed - it's better if it's sat in the fridge for a couple of hours, but not essential.


Salad tips

  • Chilling the salad makes for a great result. A couple of hours will bring down the temperature to a delicious cool - it also gives the dressing time work its magic.
  • If you don't have verjus, you can use the alternative dressing recipe detailed above.
  • Shirazi Salad works wonderfully alongside grilled meats and fish as well as with rich soups, stews and sauces. A cooling yoghurt sauce will pair marvellously alongside pita or flatbreads too.


Calories: 156kcal (8%) | Carbohydrates: 7g (2%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 14g (22%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 268mg (8%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 4g (4%) | Vitamin A: 593IU (12%) | Vitamin C: 13mg (16%) | Calcium: 24mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @CookEatWorld or tag #cookeatworld!