Turkish tomato, walnut, parsley salad or gavurdagi is a healthy and refreshing side dish for any of your favorite summer grilled meats. I think I've mentioned before that Turkish food is to die for because it has so many culinary influences. The walnuts add such an interesting touch and texture to this dish. This salad is not only vegetarian, it's also vegan! So, yes, go ahead and share with your vegan friends. Turkish gavurdagi is my new favorite salad.
This gavurdagi salad pairs nicely with kebabs, like my Moroccan inspired beef kebabs or Turkish style rack of lamb. I have to share this personal story with you because when I was young I hated tomatoes. My mother tried for years to make me eat them, even one little piece. I never budged. There were countless struggles at the dinner table, until my mother finally gave up, in part to keep her sanity, in part not to kill me. Fast forward 25 years, and all of a sudden, on my own, I learned to like tomatoes. Life is indeed funny. My mother just shakes her head in disbelief.
Pomegranate Molasses and Dried Sumac
As far as ingredients for the dressing go, pomegranate molasses, an ingredient typical in Middle Eastern cooking as well as Turkish stands out. Pomegranates have been cultivated for thousands of years. They are rich in antioxidants, which are helpful in fighting cancer. In some cultures the pomegranate is also considered sacred; some scholars believe that it was a pomegranate and not an apple that grew in the garden of Eden.
Sumac is another flavorful addition to the dressing for Turkish tomato, walnut, parsley salad. This deep red herb is tart, and in fact was used throughout the Roman Empire before citrus fruits were introduced from the Middle East. Use sumac to make zatar, a key spice blend in Middle Eastern cooking.
Step by step photos
- Gather your ingredients and have them measured, chopped and ready to go: tomato, cucumber, parsley, red onion, walnuts, lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, sumac, salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic.
- Mix together in a small bowl the olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, garlic, sumac and chili flakes.
- Place all the vegetable in a large salad bowl and add the walnuts.
- Pour over the dressing and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is is best to serve this salad right aways. Seal any leftover in a container and it will be somewhat softer or not as crisp the next day but very good. Beyond one days it may have an unpleasant texture.
If you want to prepare the salad ahead I would recommend chopping all the ingredients and mixing them on a bowl but do not add the dressing. Once you are ready to serve add the dressing. This is a great salad to take to picnics since it won't spoil like salads that contain dairy or mayonnaise.
If you are looking for other Turkish recipes to try, here are some of my favorites. If you like easy things to bake then these spicy meat filled puff pastries called talas kebabi are amazing! Lamb is popular in Turkish cuisine and Turkish style rack of lamb has an interesting rub for their flavoring along with a yogurt mint garlic sauce on the side. Another interesting Turkish salad is portakal salatsi or orange and onion salt that combines the sweet taste of oranges, salty olives, mint and red onions. This is a refreshing salad for hot weather. The Turks have their own version of what would be close to pizza in the dish called pide. The topping possibilities are endless with feta cheese, mint, cilantro, lamb or chicken. Pide is a must try for homemade pizza night!
Turkish Tomato, Walnut Salad - Gavurdagi Recipe
Turkish gavurdagi tomato, walnut, parsley salad is a great side dish with grilled meats. Serve it as a main dish with some artisan bread.
- 6 Roma tomatoes cored and diced
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 cucumber seedless, diced
- ½ cup walnuts crushed
- ½ cup red onion diced
- 1 Tbsp mint fresh, chopped
Place tomato, parsley, cucumber, walnuts, red onion and mint in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, kosher salt, pepper, sumac, sumac, chili flakes and garlic in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine then serve.
If you want to prepare this salad ahead of time do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve.