Shepperd's Salad (Çoban Salatası) | Turkish Eats

This is probably the most popular salad in Turkey. It goes with almost everything but especially with meats. If the vinegar is replaced by freshly squeezed lemon juice it is served with seafood as well. 


  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 pickling cucumbers
  • 3 sweet banana peppers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranite molasses (optional)
  • salt


  1. Finely (~ 1/8 inch) slice the onions and put them in a shallow container. Sprinkle them with plenty of salt and use your fingers to spread the salt evenly on the slices. Set them aside. The salt will gradually absorb the onion juice, which is the main goal here. We will accelerate this process later when the time is right.
  2. Finely chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers as shown in the picture above and put them all in the serving plate. Do not waste any of the tomato juice that was released during slicing of the tomatoes.
  3. By now, onion slices must have lost some of their juice already. Use your fingers to squeeze a bit more juice out of them. The slices will lose firmness - In Turkey, this process is called killing the onions. Wash the salt away in plenty of running water, drain in a medium mesh strainer. Press on the onions to drain the water. You can now add the onions to the salad plate.
  4. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of salt, add the olive oil, vinegar and the pomegranite molasses. Mix well with a spoon and serve in small plates.
  5. Serve this salad with the main dish, never as an appetizer. 

Peppers from the garden of Lale & Turgay Adalı at Çandarli, İzmir -- Photo: Copyright Tülay Adalı

© Mehmet Ozturk 2017