Gavurdagi Salatasi is a deliciously tangy salad that is traditionally made in southern Turkey.
Also known as Gavurdağı Salatası, the healthy salad is often served at kebab shops as an accompaniment to barbecue grilled meat or seafood.
Our homemade vegan and vegetarian Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe is simultaneously crunchy, sweet and zingy thanks to summer ripened tomatoes, spicy peppers, onion, sumac, sweet pomegranate molasses and nutty toasted walnuts.
We love making this easy traditional Turkish Tomato and Walnut Salad at summer barbecues and potlucks!
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What Is Gavurdagi Salatasi?
Gavurdagi Salatasi, written as Gavurdağı Salatası in Turkey, is a traditional Turkish Salad.
The name translates into English as Gavur Mountain Salad. So Gavurdagı Salad gets its name from Gaziantep mountain located between Adana and the Ceyhan River.
When tourists first encounter Gavurdagi Salatasi they often think its a dip not a salad, as many versions of the dish instruct cooks to finely chop the vegetables, giving it a Mexican salsa consistency.
Once you combine summer ripened tomatoes and sweet pomegranate syrup you get a very refreshing combination of flavours that contrast nicely with the nuttiness of toasted walnuts.
In southern cities of Turkey, pomegranate syrup is widely uses in salads because pomegranate production is predominantly found in the Mediterranean region.
In Turkey Gavurdagi Salatasi is typically served at local restaurants alongside barbecued meat dishes like kebabs.
It’s often served with a slice of lavash bread as it’s traditional for diners to sop up the juice at the bottom of the bowl.
Travel to the Turkey By Making Gavurdagi Salatasi at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai.
I spent 2 weeks traveling in Turkey, tasting my way through Goreme, Bodrum, Ephesus and Istanbul.
My fondest memories from Turkey were always in the evening when the call to prayer whispers from a nearby mosque. I’d relax over a late dinner while sipping a tiny cup of Turkish mint tea and forking through a plate of kebabs and Gavurdagi Salatasi.
I even paid to visit some of Istanbul’s most famous restaurants to taste authentic Turkish Tomato Walnut Salad during a culinary walking tour of Istanbul.
Once back home from a Turkish holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of southern Turkey and can impress friends and family by making our easy Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe!
Where To Eat Turkish Tomato Walnut Salad
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Middle Eastern or Turkish restaurant that serves their own Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe.
Haven’t traveled to Turkey before? It may be helpful to first taste the delicious vegan salad at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an understanding for the ideal spicy heat level, perfect size to chop the vegetables and whether you like the walnuts chopped into pieces or smashed.
In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve traditional Gavurdagi Salatasi include Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen, Paramount Fine Foods, Anatolia, Barans, Meat Point, Sofra Istanbul and Pizza Pide.
What Is Sumac?
Sumac, also spelled sumach, is any of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera in the cashew family. Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, including East Asia, Africa, and North America. Sumac is used as a spice, as a dye, and in medicine.
Wondering what sumac tastes like? The flavour of sumac can be likened to the tang of fresh-squeezed lemon juice; it’s tart and sharp, but also contains a hint of sweetness, along with lingering floral notes.
What Is Pomegranate Molasses?
Pomegranate molasses, also known as Dibs Ar-rumman, and nar ekshisi, is a Middle Eastern seasoning consisting of concentrated pomegranate juice. It is usually used in fish and meat dishes, and also as a replacement for vinegar in salads.
My Family Loves Turkish Gavurdagi Salatasi
I love cooking Turkish food for my friends and family.
After traveling from Istanbul to Bodrum as a professional food and travel writer I was excited to recreate my favourite salad from southern Turkey at home.
I first made this Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe on a warm summer evening at our family cottage in Muskoka. We had plenty of fresh tomatoes, peppers and onion to use up from our weekly visit to the local farmers market.
I knew my family would love this vegetarian and vegan friendly Turkish recipe because they enjoy healthy Mediterranean dishes, spicy salads and toasted nuts.
We like to serve this salad every summer when tomatoes are in peak season, delightfully sweet and juicy. The salad best pairs with kebabs served at lunch or dinner.
You can enjoy leftovers for brunch the following morning with fried eggs, and Turkish olives and cheese.
Our authentic Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Pomegranate has anti-oxidant, and anti-viral properties and is said to be a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Walnuts offer heart-friendly fats, immune-boosting copper, and manganese, which helps keep your brain and nerves healthy.
Gavurdagi Salatasi Recipe Cooking Tips
This delicious Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for novice cooks.
- We’ve used cherry tomatoes in this recipe but you can use beefsteak or plum tomatoes if you prefer.
- We’ve used Jalapeno Peppers in this recipe but you can substitute with with your favourite chili pepper. If you don’t like spicy food feel free to substitute with sweet bell pepper or omit entirely.
- We’ve used red onion in this recipe to give the dish a splash of colour but you can substitute with sweet vidalia onion or shallots if you prefer.
- You can purchase Pomegranate Molasses at a Turkish or Middle Eastern market or online.
- We’ve used olive oil in this recipe but you can substitute with another vegetable oil like canola or avocado.
- Always toast or roast your walnuts before serving to remove the raw acrid flavour. We like to serve the walnuts chopped into pieces but you can also smash them and add the small pieces into the salad.
- Many versions of Gavurdagi Salatasi exist, inspired by regional traditions and passed down family recipes. You can often find the Turkish salad tossed with cucumber, parsley, and even roasted eggplant.
What To Serve With Turkish Tomato Walnut Salad
If you’ve never tried Turkish food before but love fresh and flavourful healthy salads we know you’ll love making this Gavurdagi Salatasi recipe.
The traditional salad from southern Turkey is often served at Kebab shop restaurants as an accompaniment to grilled meat.
If you’re hosting a Turkish-themed dinner party you might also like to serve this Turkish Salad with:
- Tepsi Boregi Vegetarian Turkish Filo Cheese Pie
- BBQ Tavuk Sis Turkish Chicken Kebab
- Pancar Salatasi Turkish Beet Yogurt Salad
- Kuru Fasulye Turkish Beans With Beef
- Sigara Börek Crispy Turkish Feta Cheese Filo Cigar Rolls
- Mucver Tarif Vegetarian Turkish Zucchini Fritters
- Mihlama Kuymak Turkish Melted Cheese and Cornmeal
- Vegan Spicy Turkish Salsa Ezme Salata Salad
- Kisir Turkish Bulgur Salad
- Peynirli Pide Cheesy Chorizo Turkish Pizza
- Kiymali Pide Spiced Minced Meat Turkish Pizza
- Turkish Mint Yogurt Corbasi Soup
- Turkish Pogaca Feta and Dill Bread Rolls
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- Ensalada de Gambas Spanish Grapefruit Fennel Shrimp Salad
- Erdapfelsalat Viennese Warm Austrian Potato Salad
- Arugula Fig Burrata and Prosciutto Salad
- Indian Paneer Tikka Salad
- Mexican Vegan Cucumber Radish Salad with Chipotle Peanuts
- Warm Indian Vegan Sprouted Mung Bean Salad
- Sangchu Geotjeori Sweet and Sour Korean Lettuce Salad
- Yum Woon Sen Thai Glass Noodle Salad
- Lebanese Cabbage Malfouf Salad
- Cilantro Ginger Lime Cajun Shrimp Salad
How To Make Gavurdagi Salatasi Turkish Tomato Walnut Salad
Gavurdagi Salatasi Turkish Tomato Walnut Salad
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
- 600 g Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
- 2 Jalapeno Peppers cut into thin rings
- 1/2 Red Onion cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
- 2 tsp Sumac
- 4 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
- Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 100 g Walnut Pieces toasted or roasted
- Arrange the sliced tomatoes, pepper rings, and onion on a large serving plate.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the sumac, pomegranate molasses, salt and olive oil. Mix until well combined.
- Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad. Garnish with walnuts and a sprinkling of sumac and salt.
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