Apple and cucumber salad with fresh herbs and lime

Salad-e seeb torsh ba kheeyar

سالاد سیب ترش با خیار

Persian cucumbers have ruined it for me! When you grow up eating cucumbers in the way that Americans eat apples and oranges, you are in for a disappointment the first time you cross paths with an ordinary cucumber. Persian cucumbers are delicate, high on cucumber flavor, and low on the chalky/bitterness factor. Their skins are sweet and soft, though frequently peeled and sprinkled with salt and pepper, allowing the cucumber to be eaten as you would eat a banana.

When it comes to selecting cucumbers, I always choose this tender and flavorful variety if I can. When I don’t have access to the Persian variety, my go-to is the English cucumber. I feel quite cheated by the regular variety of cucumber as by the time I have peeled the tough and thick skin, I then have to deal with the big, pesky, watery seeds that deliver a good dose of bitterness.

Cucumber salads are very common in Iran, and of course there is the famous and tasty Salad-e Shirazi that has the cucumber mingling with ripe red tomatoes, spring onions, mint, freshly squeezed lime juice, and olive oil. Refreshing and delicious!

This is a slightly different variety in that it uses apples instead of tomatoes and the dressing is a little more complex.

Cucumber and apple salad with herbs salad

This is a Caspian Sea region salad that has the cucumbers and apples marinating in a mixed herb and salt pesto dressing.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: apple, cucumber, herbs, salad
Servings: 4
Author: Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef

Ingredients

Herbs marinate

  • 1 cups Cilantro, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Mint, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Basil, fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice, fresh

Vegetables

  • 3 apples (Fuji, Pink lady, Honey Crisp), diced into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
  • 8 Persian cucumbers, diced into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces

Instructions

  • Wash and clean the herbs and lay on a towel to dry.
  • Roughly chop the herbs and place all the ingredients for the herbs marinate in a food processor and process until you have a smooth paste.  Set aside.
  • In a large serving bowl combine the diced apples and cucumbers and toss with the dressing and serve.

Notes

Can prepare the dressing ahead of time and keep it refrigerated, however to avoid wilting the cucumbers and apples, I recommend not dressing the salad until you are ready to serve it. 

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