We call this kaşık salata, which means spoon salad in Turkish. It’s more of a salsa than salad and it’s eaten with a spoon! The difference is that ingredients are chopped more coarsely in kaşık salata, and it has more texture and crunchiness than salsa.
Chopped tomato salad (kaşık salata) is one of my favorite recipes to make in my restaurants’ kitchens because it goes well with almost everything and in any season. This salad has the balance of all the contrasts of ingredients and flavors; the cucumber is crunchy but the tomato is smooth, the pepper is hot, the pomegranate syrup is sweet and sour, and above all, the fresh herbs are gloriously aromatic.
You can serve this salad with any grilled fish from salmon filet to sardines, grilled octopus, any piece of grilled meat, especially lamb, rice, bulgur/couscous/quinoa pilaf, red lentil and bulgur köfte, or simply enjoy a bowl of it with a BIG spoon and a piece of warm crusty sourdough bread!
I also make varieties of this salad by adding different ingredients and playing with the chopping size of the vegetables. For a recipe this simple, all you need is a sharp knife! Allez chop chop ;-)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, ripe but firm, seeded
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers (half English cucumber)
- 1 green cubanelle pepper, seeded
- 1 small purple onion (half of a medium one)
- 1/2 cup packed parsley leafs
- 1/4 cup packed mint leafs
- 1/4 cup packed dill leafs
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
- 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sea salt to taste
- Prepare a medium size salad bowl to mix all chopped ingredients.
- Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper and onion in 1/2 cm (1/5 inch) thick cubes.
- Chop the herbs coarsely, don't over-chop because it's better to keep their juice in them not on the cutting board!
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, chili and salt for the salad dressing.
- Add the dressing in to salad and mix well.
- It might seem dry at first, let it rest for 30 minutes and than you will see the reason why it's called spoon salad :)