Turkish Shepherd's Salad (Çoban Salatası) Recipe

shepherd's salad
Shepherd's salad is 'the salad of the people' in Turkish cuisine. Photo © Elizabeth Taviloglu, 2012
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings shepherd's salad
Ratings (17)

Shepherd's salad, or çoban salatası (Cho-BAHN' sah-lah- tah-SU'), is a favorite in Turkey and Greece where fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers are sweet and plentiful during the summer months.

This salad has become "the salad of the people" throughout this part of the world with its simple, inexpensive ingredients. It's a nice alternative to green salad, and it goes very well with picnic menus and grilled meats.

What You'll Need

  • 2 large tomatoes (preferably vine-ripened)
  • 2 cucumbers (firm)
  • 1 bell pepper (green, or other green pepper [you also can use hot peppers])
  • Optional: 1 small onion (red, chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (red-grape, or fresh lemon juice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup feta (or Turkish white cheese, crumbled)
  • Garnish: Turkish or Greek black olives

How to Make It

  1. Wash and pat dry the vegetables. With a sharp paring knife, skin the tomatoes then dice them into cubes, being careful not to crush the flesh.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the pepper and peel the cucumbers and optional onion. Dice them all into cubes about the same size as the tomatoes.
  3. Put all the diced vegetables into your serving bowl, add the parsley and toss gently with your fingers.
  4. In an empty jar or shaker, combine the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and shake well. Pour the mixture over the salad.
  1. Top the salad with the feta, black olives and a bit more chopped parsley.
  2. Let the salad rest a few minutes before serving. Have crusty bread handy to dip in the juices.