Salata Baladi: Easy Egyptian Green Salad سلطة خضرا

Salata Baladi

Want an easy salad to pair with your summer bbq’s? Try Salata Baladi. It is the go-to Egyptian salad that pairs well with everything. It is rustic, calls for basic ingredients, and spiked with a simple yet memorable vinaigrette. 

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What Is Salata Baladi?

Salata Baladi simply is chopped juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, red onions doused in a vinegar-lemon vinaigrette, studded with fresh chopped parsley, and enlivened with dry mint.

Salata Baladi is also known among Egyptians as Salata Khadra which means green salad, and it is served next to almost everything. However, it goes exceptionally well with bbq and seafood dishes.

Across the Middle East, there are various similar versions of this same salad like the Persian Shirazi salad or the Palestinian Salata Falahia.

Success Secrets of Egyptian Salata Baladi

This salad is simple and effortless, nevertheless it relies on the freshness of its ingredients. Egypt is gifted with its fertile soil, as a result fresh and top quality cucumbers and tomatoes are abundatly available. That is probably not the case in other countries, therefore, I strongly recommend following the tips below when it comes to hand picking the salad ingredients.

What are the ingredients of Salata Baladi?

  • Tomato

Quartered or halved cherry tomatoes are perfect for the texture of this salad. My second choice would be beefsteak tomatoes.  Avoid dry, artificially plumb tomatoes as they will discount the taste and flavor of this salad.

  • Cucumber 

    Persian Cucumber
    Persian Cucumber. Stock Image by @Canva

Crunchy cucumbers like the Persian ones work great for this type of salad, they are less watery and absorb the dressing/vinaigrette wonderfully well without releasing al lot of liquid.

  • Red Onions 

Red Onions
Red onions

In this salad, I prefer red onions over any other type of onions. It outdoes yellow onions when it comes to its inherent vibrant red color that complements the salad’s palate, as well as the distinct flavor note of red onions that yellow onion falls short to deliver.

To tame the strong flavor of the red onions in this salad, I like to soak mine in the dressing/vinaigrette before adding to the salad.  Somehow, the mix of lemon and vinegar tames the wild pungency of the red onions.

  • Dry Mint 

Luckily, dry mint is available to order online and in most grocery stores across the globe.

That said, I find sun drying mint is a fairly rewarding task, especially when mint grows like weed in my garden and gets out of control.  It is easy to dry fresh mint, simply by exposing it an entire day to direct sun heat.

While drying, keep the mint at bay from flies and dust by covering the fresh mint with fine mesh food umbrella until it is totally dry and it turns into fine powder when you crush it between your fingers.

  • Lime VS. Lemon 

Admittely , I do prefer lime over lemon in salad dressings and marinades, as lime has a bold, unapologetic, and citrusy flavor note, compared to the mild flavor of the lemon.

In my humble opinion, nothing outdoes a freshly squeezed lime juice, as the bottled store-bought lime juice tends to be on the bitter side and tastes a bit off.

Fresh Lime
Fresh Lime
  • Vinegar 

White distilled vinegar works best in this salad, however my second choice would be apple cider vinegar.

  • Parsley 

You will need a handful of Italian flat leaves parsley to toss in this Egyptian salad or Salata Baladi. The curly parsley lacks the depth of flavor that the flat one has. Also, curly parsley has a stiffer texture.

I do recommend using the Italian flat one for maximum flavor, while keeping the curly parsley for garnishing purposes.

Health Benefits of Salata Baladi 

Egyptian Salata Baladi is a fresh, healthy side dish that can complement any protein. It is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, and fibers. Salata Baladi doesn’t include any compound sauces and should be moderately salted. I prefer to use Himalayan salt or, celtic Salt as it is good for health, gut, and skin.

Check Out More Vegan Salads 

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Salata Baladi: Easy Egyptian Salad

 INGREDIENTS 

  • 500 grams cherry tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes
  • 4-5 Persian cucumbers, seeded, and diced
  • one red onion, chopped

Dressing/vinaigrette 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers in a deep salad bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake it well. Add the onions, and shake some more. Keep the dressing in the jar and add it to the salad right before serving it so the vegetables won’t wilt.

NERMINE’S NOTES:

  • Red onions taste brighter when they are soaked them in this salad vinaigrette.

 

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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