Simple Arabic Salad

October 16th, 2012

This is my go-to salad to serve alongside any Middle Eastern rice dish, such as maqluba (rice and chicken) or mujaddara (rice and lentils). Indeed, this salad is simple, but there are some tricks to it.

In the Arab world, it is highly desired to have salads like this chopped teeny tiny. Regardless of how tiny one is willing to go, it’s equally important to have the cucumber and tomato pieces all uniform. The optional green pepper can be chopped even finer, as it’s more of an accent rather than the main event.

As for seasonings, a high-quality gourmet sea salt can really make this salad pop. Also, avoid overdoing it with the lemon juice; otherwise, the salad will be soupy. The mint leaves are optional.

Arabic Salad ~ serves 4-6 as a side dish

3 medium tomatoes, chopped small

2 medium cucumbers, chopped small (not peeled)

½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

½ green pepper, chopped finely (optional)

handful mint leaves, chopped finely (optional)


  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Check for a balance of red and green. If necessary, add more tomatoes or more of the green stuff.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. I like to add a final sprinkle of sea salt.

Question: How do you make your Arabic Salad?

  1. Rupert Neil Bumfrey (@rupertbu)
    October 16th, 2012 at 15:41 | #1

    Could we not just add some food colouring to balance colours? 😉

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      October 16th, 2012 at 19:45 | #2

      You, Rupert, can do whatever you like. 😉

  2. Assia
    October 16th, 2012 at 19:05 | #3

    I like it too muchhhh
    but i would like to know where did u bought the plate please. I am looking for this style from long time

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      October 16th, 2012 at 19:47 | #4

      Hi Assia, Thanks for reading. This bowl is from Morocco. I bought it at either the Moroccan Pavillion at the Global Village in Dubai or I bought it at a Moroccan shop at Wafi Mall.

  3. Vickie Al hazineh
    October 16th, 2012 at 22:28 | #5

    Hi Holly, Yes this a great vibrant salad with alot a zip to any meal. I make this too. So simple to make & alot of flavor. It’s great with Toasted French Garlic bread too. 🙂

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      October 19th, 2012 at 20:19 | #6

      Hi Vickie,
      Oh! I will try it with toasted French Garlic Bread. Sounds delicious & very Mediterranean. Thanks for that tip.

  4. Alyssa
    October 17th, 2012 at 09:31 | #7

    Holly, I always order this salad when we have food delivered to go along with our meal. Thanks for the recipe! I love the bowl too. By the way, I sent you an email 🙂

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      October 19th, 2012 at 20:17 | #8

      Hi Alyssa, Thanks for stopping by. So glad you like my simple recipe. Bye for now.

  5. October 17th, 2012 at 21:15 | #9

    Love this salad, especially when chilled. Actually the pieces tend to be so small you need to eat with a spoon not a fork!
    Yours looks perfect:)

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      October 19th, 2012 at 20:14 | #10

      Thanks, Zvezdana. Yes, you are right, the smaller the better!

  6. October 21st, 2012 at 01:30 | #11

    Growing up, when tomatoes and cucumbers were in season, this combination was always a main part of my family’s meals – straight off the vine and into the bowl. We’d cut the tomatoes into thick slices or roughly chop them, and thinly slice the cucumbers. We’d add oil, vinegar and salt, and sometimes radish, to jazz it up a little. That was back then. Now I love a finely chopped salad, to which I like to add red bell peppers. Middle Easterns do have a way of elevating a simple dish to an exquisite treat by simply adding parsley and/or mint. Moroccan plates and bowls do make everything look sensational, don’t they?:)

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      December 21st, 2012 at 17:29 | #12

      Hello, Adriana, Thank you for reading. I loved your comment. It made me hungry. 😉 You are a terrific food writer! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Dorsaf
    December 4th, 2012 at 10:56 | #13

    My family adds green apples to this (and of course olive oil, because you’re not mediterranean if you don’t use olive oil:)! ), a delicious surprise to the palate!!! Try it!!!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      December 21st, 2012 at 17:09 | #14

      Wow. What a great combination. I will try it. Thanks for reading & commenting. 🙂

  8. June 3rd, 2013 at 13:29 | #15

    Lovely combination. Healthy!

Comments are closed.