Shirazi Salad (Chopped Salad).

This is a pretty universal salad, eaten everywhere in the Middle East on into Iran, from whence comes the name Shirazi and the pull towards extra sourness from sumac and lemon juice. At its most basic, it consists of onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes, with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. We saw it a lot in Turkey, where it is called Chopped Salad. In Israel it gets called Israeli salad, which is a bit of chutpah, given how everyone else in the region was already making it for yonks.

At this time of year I used green onions and threw in radishes, because they are around. I also still have some nice herbs. You don’t have to use all of them; whatever you can get will be fine. You don’t have to put in any of them really; the dried mint will be enough. You might want to apply it with a slightly heavier hand if you can’t get any fresh herbs.

Lettuce does not officially go in this salad, but if there is one the garden is churning out right now, it’s lettuce, so when this hit our plates it went onto a bed of chopped lettuce. Otherwise, I suspect this is too much dressing for the amount of salad and you may want to save some for another day.

4 to 6 servings
45 minutes prep time

Make the Dressing:
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons sumac
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
the juice of 1/2 large lemon

Grind the cumin and coriander well, and mix it with all the other spices. Mix in the oil. Add the lemon juice. Set aside to rest while the salad is made.

Make the Salad:
3 green onions OR 1 red onion
3 small greenhouse cucumbers OR 1 long cucumber
8 to 12 radishes AND/OR 2 or 3 tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
lettuce, optional 

Peel and finely chop the onions. Trim the ends from the cucumbers, and chop them in pieces just a bit bigger than the onion. Sprinkle them with about half a teaspoon of salt and leave them in strainer to drain for 20 to 30 minutes.

Wash, trim and slice the radishes. Core and chop the tomatoes. Wash, dry, and mince the herbs. Mix the radishes, tomatoes, and herbs in the salad bowl.

Rinse and drain the onions and cucumbers well, and add them to the tomatoes, etc. Toss with the salad dressing. Serve as-is or on a bed of lettuce.

Last year at this time I made Haskap-Raisin Pie.

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