Turkish spoon salad

Turkish spoon salad

New Middle Eastern Food
4 as part of a mezze selection
Mark Roper

One of our very favourite Turkish salads, this almost has the consistency of a gazpacho soup and definitely needs to be served with a spoon. The secret is to dice the ingredients individually first, then chop them together to very fine and even dice. This salad has a wonderful balance of heat from the chillies and sweetness from the molasses. Serve it as part of a mezze selection, or with kebabs. Offer lots of Turkish bread to mop up the juices.


Quantity Ingredient
2 very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned and finely diced
1 long red banana pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 long red chillies, seeded and finely diced
1 small lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1 heaped teaspoon hot turkish red pepper paste
1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)


  1. Place the diced tomatoes, pepper, chillies, cucumber and shallot on a large chopping board. Use a very sharp, large knife to chop them all together. You are aiming for well-integrated, even and fine dice. Scrape into a large bowl and add the herbs, pepper paste, molasses, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly and leave for 20 minutes to macerate.
  2. Just before serving, tip the salad into a colander and drain for a few moments to remove some of the excess liquid — you want the salad to be wet, but not swimming in liquid. Pour out onto a shallow serving platter, then drizzle on the remaining oil and scatter over the pomegranate seeds, if using. Serve straight away.
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