One of my closest friends is Persian, and I’ve been spoilt many times by her delicious, flavoursome cooking! The salad I’ve just made is traditionally called Shirazi; it’s super-nutritious and absolutely bursting with flavour and incredibly easy to make! Persian salads don’t rely on heavy, creamy or sugary dressings, but instead use swathes of herbs and spices to flavour a dish naturally. Click MORE to see the full ‘recipe’, and get the ‘benefits of’ the ingredients.
3 cucumbers (deseeded and finely diced cucumbers)
4 round tomatoes (deseeded)
1 medium red onion
3 ripe lemons
2 tbsp fresh mint
2 tbsp Parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of pink salt
1.Start by chopping off the end bit of the tomato, deseed and finely chop the tomato in equal sizes and do the same with the cucmber.
2. Finely chop the herbs
3. Roast the walnuts on a medium heat-mark for circa 5 mins.
4. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl along with the olive oil, vinegar and pink salt.
PARSLEY: an excellent source of calcium, potassium manganese, magnesium and iron. It also contains an ingredient known as ‘myricetin’, a flavonol which professes preventative effects with various types of skin cancer.
MINT: Useful for treating the symptoms most of digestive ailments, and indeed those of irritable bowel syndrome. A 2011 study discovered that peppermint oil was effective in alleviating symptoms of IBS.
CORIANDER: Awesome for skin, thanks to it’s anti-fungal, antiseptic & antioxidant properties, known to assist with the clearing of skin disorders (think dryness, fungal infections & eczema).
RED ONION: a classic source of immune-boosting vitamin C, dietary fibre, vitamin B6, Folate and potassium. It’s a mainstay for good reason.
LEMON/LIME: The citrus zing lifts the flavour of almost any dish, to my mind. We’ll readily reach for the lemon and honey when we’re ill – and rightly so, as these little citric bombs are incredibly in vitamin C, vitamin B, and phosphorous. They also contain flavonoids, which profess antioxidants with cancer-fighting properties!
HIMALAYAN PINK SALT: clearly less sodium in the diet is better than more, but where it’s something you’d like to go for, where possible, opt for pink salt (sourced mostly from a vast mine in Pakistan, rather than the Himalayas, confusingly!). Unlike the variety found on most tables, it’s unprocessed and comes to you without any processes of chemical purification. The reason for that beautiful pink tint is thanks to its iron content; not only iron though, it’s also rich in iodine, and rammed full of other minerals including magnesium, sulphate, calcium, bromide, potassium, borate, bicarbonate and strontium…
POMEGRANATE: Outrageously versatile, edible solo as a refreshing and healthy little snack, drinkable as juice, or in this instance, as a constituent part of my salad. They’re rammed full of antioxidants which help buffer the effects of free radical damage to cells caused by oxidation – never a bad thing really. A strong source of our dietary fibre (containing 5 grams in every 100) & also contain good amounts of Folate to promote cell repair and maintenance. As ever, they’re also a epic font of Vitamin C for a further immune boost, as well as Vitamin K for a well maintained circulatory system. I may not have mentioned, but they taste sweet and crunchy too!
Enjoy! Faya x