In Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, salad is eaten for breakfast as well as lunch or dinner, and the ubiquitous cucumber tomato salad is the foundation of most meals. This salad is also known as “Salata Baladia” or country style salad, as it is rustic and goes with just about everything. In any Arabic household you will find this salad next to a plate of scrambled eggs and warm pita bread for breakfast, scooped into a hummus sandwich for lunch, or draped over a bowl of warm mujadarra for dinner.
This salad is my favorite to eat at the peak of summer when the tomatoes are ripe and sweet, and the cucumbers are crispy and fresh. Persian cucumber is a must as there are few seeds and the flavor is superior to the water logged English cucumber. Roma tomatoes also hold the best in this salad, as the water content is lower than larger heirloom tomatoes. If preparing for company, make sure you add the salt at the very last minute to prevent the salad from getting soggy. Traditionally the cucumbers and tomatoes are cut into very small cubes so everything is symmetrical. This makes it easier to scoop the salad into sandwiches or top other dishes with little mess.
For the 5 minute video tutorial and instructions, click on the video below:
SALATA BALADIA (CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD)
- 2 large diced Persian Cucumbers
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 diced roma tomatoes
- 1/2 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 tbs)
- Handful of parsley, washed and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp 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.