Turkish tomato salad made with fresh, plump tomatoes, cucumbers and crunchy walnuts is absolutely delicious. This tomato salad is the perfect side dish.
I love sharing tasty Turkish recipes here on the blog. From Turkish traditional bread, simit, and Turkish eggs to yogurt and cucumber (cacik) and yogurt soup (yayla corbasi), Turkish cuisine always calls for fresh and seasonal ingredients that make the dishes light and bright.
Turkish tomato salad recipe
Gavurdagi (gavurdağı salatası) is a delicious Turkish classic salad that's made mainly with tomatoes. Fresh produce is essential for maximizing the flavor in Mediterranean recipes. Tomatoes are very common in Turkish cuisine and you can see them used in so many different recipes. They're always so plump and juicy in Turkey and they're similar to roma tomatoes.
This Turkish tomato salad is very special because of ingredients such as pomegranate molasses and sumac that give such beautiful flavor to it. Gavurdagi is from the Gaziantep region in Turkey where it's popular for delicious food. Turkish tomato salad is the perfect addition to a mezze platter as well.
What tomatoes are good for salad?
Heirloom tomatoes are the best for salads because of their delicious and bright flavor. However, since they're not available year round and in every supermarket, my second choice is roma or plum tomatoes because of their thin skin and bright flavor. Tomatoes are widely used in Mediterranean salads such as fattoush and Greek salad.
To make this cucumber tomato salad recipe, you need the following ingredients:
- Tomatoes: I prefer roma tomatoes because of their firmness and flavor.
- Green Italian pepper: This type of pepper has a light flavor and texture.
- Onion: White onion is best for this salad.
- Cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are preferred because they don't have seeds.
- Walnuts: Don't leave them out, they go perfectly with the tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Parsley: You can use flat leaf or curly leaf parsley.
- Olive oil: Always try to get high quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Pomegranate molasses: You can find pomegranate molasses in supermarkets or Middle Eastern and Mediterranean shops. You can also make it at home.
- Sumac: If you have never used sumac, it's a spice made from sumac berries and it's tart.
How to make Turkish tomato onion salad
Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and discard the soft and seedy parts. Place them in a large bowl and add in chopped cucumbers. If using English cucumbers, discard the large seeds. Next, add in chopped onion. Cut the green Italian pepper in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. Chop the peppers into small pieces and add them to the tomatoes. Mix all the ingredients well. Pour over the dressing and mix the salad. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Tomato salad dressing
The dressing for gavurdagi is what makes it absolutely tasty. To make this salad dressing, mix olive oil, pomegranate molasses, sumac and salt in a small bowl or jar and pour it over the salad. You can also make the salad dressing ahead of time and simply shake it right before adding it to the salad.
Can I use cherry tomatoes for this recipe?
Turkish salads are usually made with plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are normally served for breakfast. Since cherry tomatoes have thinner flesh, they're not suitable for this salad recipe.
How long does tomato salad keep?
Because tomatoes tend to release their juice pretty soon after they're chopped, this salad is best served right away. However, you can keep the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
What to serve gavurdagi with
I love serving this tomato salad alongside dishes such as Turkish stuffed eggplant (karniyarik), bulgur pilaf, and lahmacun. It will add the right amount of brightness and tangy flavor to the dish that will make you want to take a few more bites!
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
It's best to serve tomato salad within a few hours of making as the tomatoes would start releasing their juices. You can make this salad up to one hour before serving.
Looking for more Mediterranean salads?
- Greek chickpea salad with feta
- Mediterranean potato salad
- Turkish white bean salad
- The best Mediterranean salad
- Mediterranean tortellini pasta salad
- Cucumber tomato avocado salad
- Tabouli salad
Notes and tips to make tomato salad
- Persian cucumbers have less seed than English cucumbers therefore they're perfect for this tomato salad.
- The tomatoes you're going to use for this recipe should be firm and plump. Soft tomatoes will release their juice easier.
- If pomegranate molasses is not available, a splash of balsamic vinegar would work, too.
- You can add more chopped walnuts to this tomato salad if you would like it to be more crunchy.
Turkish Tomato Salad Gavurdagi
- 4 roma tomatoes chopped
- 1 Italian green pepper diced
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 Persian cucumbers diced
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp sumac
- ½ tsp salt
- Place the chopped tomatoes, green Italian pepper, onion, cucumbers, walnuts and parsley in a large bowl and mix well.
- Mix olive oil, pomegranate molasses, sumac and salt in a small bowl and pour it over the salad.
- Mix well and cover the salad with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.