Turkish Shepherd's Salad (Çoban Salatası)

shepherd's salad çoban salatası
Elizabeth Taviloglu
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
18g Fat
7g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 253mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 4g
Calcium 111mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shepherd's salad, or çoban salatası (Cho-BAHN' sah-lah- tah-SU'), is a favorite in Turkey and Greece where fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers are sweet and plentiful during the summer months. This salad comes together easily, other than some peeling and chopping, and is dressed with a simple mixture of oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and finished off with feta cheese and black olives.

There is some prep involved, including peeling the tomatoes and cucumbers and seeding the bell pepper, but all of this makes for a more palatable and attractive dish. And chopping all of the vegetables into roughly the same size makes for a prettier presentation. If you like, you can include some chopped red onion to add a bit of purple color and a little extra flavor.

A nice alternative to mixed greens, this refreshing salad goes very well with cookout menus, at summer potlucks, and with grilled steak and chicken. You can also serve it as part of a Mediterranean spread, including chicken kebabs, bulgur pilaf, and lamb gyros. Because it is similar to the vegetable salads made throughout the Middle East, feel free to serve çoban salatası with chicken shawarma and falafel.

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes (preferably vine-ripened)
  • 2 cucumbers (firm)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Optional: 1 small red onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or Turkish white cheese)
  • Garnish: Turkish or Greek black olives

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash and pat dry the vegetables. With a sharp paring knife, skin the tomatoes then dice them into cubes, being careful not to crush the flesh.

  3. Remove the stems and seeds from the pepper and peel the cucumbers and red onion, if using. Dice all of the vegetables into cubes about the same size as the tomatoes.

  4. Put all the diced vegetables in a serving bowl, add the chopped parsley, and toss gently with your fingers.

  5. In an empty jar or covered container, combine the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and shake well. Pour the mixture over the salad and toss gently.

  6. Top the salad with the feta, black olives, and a bit more chopped parsley.

  7. Let the salad rest a few minutes before serving.

  8. Enjoy with pita or crusty bread for soaking up the dressing.

Ways to Serve Shepherd's Salad

In addition to serving çoban salatası as a side dish, this salad can be used as a filling for sandwiches such as a vegetarian pita wrap, chicken souvlaki, and falafel.

Recipe Variation

If you like spice, you can use a hot pepper, such as Serrano, in place of the bell pepper.

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