Named for the city in southwestern Iran, salad-e Shirazi is found on practically every Iranian table at practically every meal. Think of it as a herbier, juicier, more tart version of Greek salad or Indian kachumber, and eat it alongside any rice dish or on its own. In Iran, dining companions usually fight over the leftover juice at the end of a meal. If you're lucky enough to win the battle, tip the bowl to your mouth and slurp the salty, tangy juice that remains.
3 to 4 Persian cucumbers (about 350g)
½ red onion, diced
2 tbsp any combination of finely chopped fresh parsley, coriander, basil or dill
1 tsp dried mint
2 to 3 medium tomatoes
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes), plus more as needed
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove alternating stripes of peel on cucumbers and trim ends. Dice cucumbers into quarter-inch pieces and place in a large bowl with onion and fresh herbs and dried mint. Remove tomato cores, dice remaining tomatoes and add to bowl.
2. In a small bowl, make a vinaigrette by whisking together quarter cup lime juice, oil, three-quarters teaspoon salt and quarter teaspoon pepper. Just before serving, dress vegetables with vinaigrette and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice as needed. This salad should be bright, crunchy and tart, a nice counterpoint for rich, buttery rice and unctuous stews. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to two days.
This is one of Samin Nosrat's 10 essential Persian recipes.
Samin Nosrat is the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and star of the related Netflix show. This recipe originally appeared in The New York Times.