This refreshing chopped tomato cucumber salad features a handful of fresh vegetables and herbs with a light dressing served on a bed of whipped tahini for a delightful summer meal filled with crunch and color.
Every summer about this time I come to the realization that I’ve largely been subsisting off of salads like this Middle Eastern chopped tomato cucumber salad. Not that I don’t eat them during the rest of the year (a hearty cold weather salad is always welcome at my table during the fall and winter months), but summer days are salad days for me. The sweltering heat means less time at the stove or oven and more time chopping and tossing.
Now when I say salad, I usually mean one that’s heavy on the vegetables and light on the greens (if I even use any at all). I like my salads to have heft and substance, to be something that will satisfy my hunger which a bowl full of lettuce leaves rarely does.
This Middle Eastern chopped tomato cucumber salad is just the kind of salad you’ll find me making on one of those days when I can’t be bothered to turn on the oven. It’s light, colorful and filled with fresh summer produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers and zucchini.
What is a Middle Eastern Chopped Salad?
You can find a version of a chopped tomato and cucumber salad like this one on tables throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean region. Most include fresh herbs such as mint and parsley and a simple lemon and olive oil based dressing. The secret to these kinds of salads is in the chop; a fine chop really marries and melds all the individual flavors transforming each bite into a perfect assortment of tastes and textures. A generous pinch of salt also helps.
After you’re done chopping you’ll end up with a salad that looks more like salsa but that’s exactly what you want. In fact I like to serve mine with some of my grain-free pita chips (or even coconut tortilla chips) on the side to scoop it up with. Everything gets loaded on a bed of whipped tahini and sprinkled with a pinch of sumac to finish before serving.
It’s vibrant, filled with fresh produce and herbs and works well as an appetizer, salad or side to any meal. It also happened to be especially cooling on a hot summer day.
More summer salads to check out:
- Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous Salad with Sautéed Zucchini and Asparagus (Paleo, Vegan)
- Berry Watermelon Fruit Salad with Ruby Syrup (Paleo, Vegan)
- Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Parsley Oil