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Gavurdagi Salad of ripe tomatoes, onion, parsley and walnuts

Lovingly grown ripe, juicy tomatoes at their peak in August in Turkey

Lovingly grown, juicy, ripe tomatoes have been at their peak while we were in Turkey in August. These firm, sweet tomatoes have been so packed with flavor that you can just enjoy them alone,  without any accompaniment.

Gavurdagi Salad of ripe tomatoes, onions, walnuts and pomegranate molasses; so delicious and healthy

Gavurdagi Salad of ripe tomatoes, onions, walnuts and pomegranate molasses; so delicious and healthy

But there is one tomato salad that you often come across wherever you are in Turkey; Gavurdagi Salad. Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad is from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. I love the marriage of sweet and juicy tomatoes with the crunchy walnuts in this salad; the sweet and sour pomegranate molasses dressing really complements this salad too. Here’s my homemade pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi recipe, if you would like to make your own. If you can’t get pomegranate molasses or have time to make it, try the salad with a good balsamic vinegar, it still works well.

Freshly baked Turkish pide (flat bread) is wonderful to accompany the Gavur Salad

Gavurdagi salad is an important part of the meze spread at kebab houses in Turkey, served with the delicious Turkish pide bread, butter and the crumbly Turkish white cheese.  You can also enjoy this  delicious and easy salad for lunch with your favorite cheese and bread by the side. We also love this salad as an accompaniment of pasta dishes like our favorite Shrimp pasta with red pepper flakes infused olive oil, highly recommended!

Crumbly Turkish cheese, tulumba peynir, butter, vegetables cooked in olive oil are important parts of the mezze spread

Serves 2                               Preparation time: 15 minutes

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

¼ onion, finely chopped

Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

50gr/2oz/1/3 cup walnuts, crushed – about pea size each –

15ml/1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

30ml/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes

5ml/1 tsp sumac – optional-

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Spices are an important part of the Turkish cuisine; tangy sumac and spicy red pepper flakes add wonderful flavor to Gavurdagi Salad.

In a large bowl, rub the chopped onions with the spices and seasoning; salt, sumac, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper – that will soften the onion and enable the spices to blend in well.

Ripe tomatoes, parsley, onion and walnuts; not only delicious but very healthy too.

 Add the tomatoes, parsley and walnuts to the onions. Then stir in the pomegranate molasses and the extra virgin olive oil and give them a good (but gentle) mix.

I hope you can have a go on this delicious, refreshing salad; it also has a wonderful juice, so make sure to spoon it or dip your bread in!

Afiyet Olsun!

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26 Responses to Gavurdagi Salad of ripe tomatoes, onion, parsley and walnuts

  1. CuisinedeProvence August 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    They are getting fewer now but I will make sure as long as I still have wonderfully ripe tomatoes in my kitchen garden to prepare this salad.

    • Ozlem August 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      I bet your homegrown tomatoes would taste superb Barbara : ) xx Ozlem

  2. Kath August 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Merhaba Özlem,
    Thank you for the refreshing and healthy salad. I’ll try it with balsamic vinegar, as I don’t have the pomegranate molasses. I love walnuts in salads…

    • Ozlem August 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      Merhaba Kath,
      It is my pleasure, I do love walnuts in the salads too – they go well with tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar really works well too.

  3. Susan August 28, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    What a perfect summer salad!

    • Ozlem August 28, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      thanks Susan,the salad is refreshing and you feel good about eating, as it is very healthy too.

  4. Phil in the Kitchen August 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Tomatoes, pomegranate molasses and sumac – three of my favourite things, so this is just my kind of dish. Oddly enough, I came across a salad of tomatoes, walnuts and parsley in France some years ago. I think that it used a dressing made with sherry vinegar, olive oil and shallots if memory serves.

    • Ozlem August 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      Love these ingredients too Phil, we are lucky to have pomegranate molasses; mind you a good balsamic vinegar really works too. Love seeing similarities in different cuisines, I am sure the sun soaked tomatoes in France would be lovely in the salad too.

  5. Peri August 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    This looks so refreshingly delicious, Ozlem…tomatoes, walnuts, parsley… all my favorite flavors in one place:) I’m going to try this out soon:)

    • Ozlem August 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Thank you Peri, it really is refreshing and the flavours complement each other nicely – love the juice at the bottom to soak up the bread; glad you will give it a go 😉

  6. Alida September 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Looks all so inviting. I did work once for a short time in a Turkish grocery shop in Germany and I remember lots of this food (but not as good as this!). I love those flat breads, so nice when freshly baked!

    • Ozlem September 3, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Thanks Alida, there is a big Turkish community in Germany, hope you enjoyed the experience. And yes, the flat breads are so irresistable, especially freshly baked:)

  7. Deborah Kaplan June 1, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    What a great recipe.
    Do you have a recipe for pomegranate molasses? I couldn’t find one at our local stores so I tried a bit of balsamic vinegar and for the sweet I used a small bit of sweet chili sauce.
    Thanks so much, Deborah

    • Ozlem Warren June 2, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Deborah, thanks for the comment, this really is a lovely recipe and one of my favorites. A good, sharp balsamic vinegar also works well with this recipe, but you can also make your own pomegranate molasses.There are two main methods you can use; one is to squeeze the juice from a large pomegranate then boil the liquid until it has reduced to just two tablespoons. Alternatively, take 750ml pomegranate juice, 100g sugar and 125ml lemon juice and simmer until reduced to 250ml.
      Hope it helps!

  8. Lowrie February 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Oh, Ozlem!!! This was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious! We had it tonight and loved it! Thank you for this wonderful salad!

    Other people in England may be interested to know I bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses at Waitrose. It is their “Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients” brand.

    • Ozlem Warren February 7, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

      So very glad to hear it Lowrie, thank you so much for sharing! I spotted pomegranate molasses in Waitrose too, delighted! Huge thanks again, Ozlem xx

  9. Shubha February 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    loved this summery salad..would to try it soon

    • Ozlem Warren February 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      Thank you Shubha, afiyet olsun!

  10. Ozlem August 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    thanks so much for the link Peri!:)

  11. Ozlem Warren May 30, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    many thanks for the link Peri!

  12. Ozlem Warren May 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    many thanks for the mention, hope you enjoy Gavur Salatasi!


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