We Persians are not known for our long list of salad recipes. In fact we generally only have two known salad recipes. The first is Salad Shirazi – our chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion salad with a lime, olive oil and mint dressing. The second is Salad Olvieh – our take on a Russian salad dish, which we make with chicken, potatoes, egg, pickled cucumbers, peas, carrots and mayo (recipe coming soon).
This salad is very much a homage to ingredients that are associated with Persian cuisine (cherries, feta, mint, pistachios and pomegranate molasses). It is also a homage to the summer season with its refreshing feel and seasonal ingredients.
Cherry and Feta Salad with Pistachios
- 70 ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp Za'atar spice blend
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 180 g lettuce / mixed leaves (roughly chop if using lettuce, mixed leaves should remain intact)
- 1 - 2 celery sticks (medium sliced)
- 1 red onion (finely sliced)
- 150 g cucumber (I use baby or Persian cucumbers - quartered then medium sliced)
- 250 g cherries (pitted and halved)
- 15 - 20 g fresh mint leaves (small leaves can be kept, roughly chop larger leaves)
- 100 g feta (crumbled)
- 40 g pistachios (shelled and roughly chopped or bashed in a pestle and mortar)
- Make the dressing a minimum of 1 hour before you want to serve the salad to let the flavors infuse. Take a jar with a lid and add all the pomegranate vinaigrette ingredients. Screw the lid on and give it a good shake. Taste and adjust elements to taste. Place the jar in the fridge until ready to serve.
Serving the Salad
- Layer your ingredients for the salad in a bowl. Give the jar of dressing a good shake and pour over the salad. Using salad tongs / spoons, toss the salad to ensure it is evenly coated with the pomegranate vinaigrette. Serve immediately after dressing.