The perfect accompaniment to any Mediterranean dish, Israeli chopped salad is simple and fresh with tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs and bright lemon.
It wouldn’t be a proper Mediterranean dinner party, without the classic Israeli chopped salad, also called Salad Shirazi. I serve this every single time I’m grilling meats or serving a dip, such as Muhamarra (Turkish Red Pepper Dip) and of course, classic homemade falafel.
I’m telling you, serve the salad, with falafel and tahini sauce, maybe a little zhoug, and you, my friends have the most fantastic Mediterranean dinner!
Chopped Salad Ingredients
I grew up on this salad and do all sorts of variations. The base of this chopped salad is cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice and fresh herbs. From there, you can add other vegetables, such as radishes or even sweet melon and chiles to make a sweet savory chopped salad, (which I made for my cookbook .)
- Cucumber and Tomatoes: The classic base to any Israeli chopped salad. I love using thin skinned Persian cucumbers and sweet roma tomatoes. Though, in the summer, heirloom tomatoes are fantastic here.
- Lemons: Use fresh lemons if you can, the flavor is unmistakable and brightens up the entire salad.
- Fresh Herbs: This is where you can have fun. I use a combination or either one of fresh mint, fresh parsley and/or cilantro.
- Dressing: Olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar to sweeten the salad up a bit. I often make this with or without the vinegar and just with olive oil and lemon juice, which is lovely as well.
- Salt: A given, a good pinch of kosher salt to flavor the vegetables is a necessity. Season and taste as you go and adjust as needed.
- Other Additions: chopped avocado, chopped radishes, cubed feta cheese, chickpeas and fruit are all fantastic touches.
A Few Tips (for any salad, really)
If making the salad ahead of time, chop the vegetables and add them to a bowl and in another bowl whisk the dressing ingredients and toss salad with dressing right before serving.
Same goes with the fresh herbs, chop them before you are ready to serve so the leaves don’t wilt.
Israeli chopped salad is incredible versatile. Feel free to add feta cheese, chopped avocado, chopped red onion or chopped bell pepper.
Israeli Chopped Salad
- 6 Persian cucumbers peeled and chopped
- 3 Medium sized tomatoes
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1 Small bunch of mint roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Kosher salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Begin by chopping the cucumbers and tomatoes into small-medium sized cubes and reserve a bowl.
- In another smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic and lemon juice until it slightly emulsifies and add dressing to chopped vegetables along with the chopped herbs.
- Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Serve immediately.
This recipe was originally posted in 2012 and has been updated February 2020 with added notes and updated photos.