Quick Cook: The ultimate – easy! – Middle Eastern salad

Peninsula Premier Admin

This refreshing cucumber-tomato salad is ubiquitous on breakfast tables, as well as lunch or dinner spreads, across the Middle East, from Lebanon to Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and beyond. Salata Baladia could end up on a breakfast plate, nestled next to scrambled eggs, scooped into a hummus, falafel or shawarma sandwich, or draped over a bowl of lentils and rice.

The name means “salad of the land” in Arabic. It’s a country-style salad, as tomatoes and cucumbers are abundant and native to the countries of the Middle East. Persian cucumber is the preferred choice here, as it has fewer seeds and less moisture compared to the waterlogged English cucumber. Roma tomatoes hold up the best in this salad for similar reasons: Their water content is lower than larger heirloom tomatoes.

Two quick tips: Make sure you add the salt at the very last minute to prevent the salad from getting soggy. And cut the cucumbers and tomatoes into very small cubes so everything is symmetrical. This makes it easier to scoop the salad into sandwiches or atop other dishes with little mess.

Salata Baladia

Makes about 2 cups


2 large Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, cut into small dice

2 Roma tomatoes, cut into small dice

½ cup finely diced red onion

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup finely chopped mint (dried mint is great as well; if using dried mint, use 1 tablespoon)

A handful of parsley, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt to taste


Toss together the cucumber,  tomato, onion, parsley and mint. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil, and drizzle the salad with the dressing. Season with salt. Serve immediately.

Bay Area food writer Blanche Shaheen is the author of “Feast in the Middle East, a Personal Journey of Family and Cuisine.” Follow her Feast in the Middle East cooking show on YouTube, and her food blog at www.feastinthemiddleeast.com.

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Long live Zoom? New Assembly bill would require public meetings to have remote options

Among the few silver linings of a devastating coronavirus pandemic has been the emergence of a new way for local governments and school districts to conduct their meetings, one that allows more people to watch and interact with their representatives. Through the convenience of Zoom and other internet-based video conferencing […]