Çoban Salatası – mixed salad

This is a light, easy to make, and incredibly refreshing salad, one of the most popular in Turkey. You’ll find Çoban Salatası everywhere when you travel around the country. The key thing is to make sure you get great tomatoes, the sweetest and tastiest you can find!

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 onion finely sliced
2 cucumbers peeled and finely chopped
2 green peppers, seeded and finely chopped
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley. Chopped
Several good tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1-1 ½ lemons
Salt and Pepper

Preparation:

Put all the chopped fruit and vegetables, together with the parsley, in a bowl and mix well. You can then pop this into the fridge to chill off a little. Make a dressing from the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. This is the typical dressing used for most Turkish salads, zingy and delicious, just make sure you have a very good quality olive oil (Turkish if possible!) that is tasty but not bitter. Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and mix thoroughly. Feel free to splosh in some more olive oil if you think it needs a little extra.

As an alternative, you can throw in some finely sliced radishes into your Çoban Salatası to add an extra dash of colour and crunch. Do try without first, but you can turn this salad into a strikingly different concoction by adding in some crumbled feta type cheese.

Don’t pour away the juice in the bottom of the bowl, but seize the opportunity to mop up the tangy dressing with some fresh bread. Yum!