Coban Salatasi: Turkish shepherd salad

turkish shepherd salad recipe

What would be a Turkish dinner table without salads? Salads are very popular in Turkish cuisine and are basically always served. There has to be some kind of vegetable on the table anyway in Turkiye. Sometimes it's just a few sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes whole herbs such as parsley, spring onions and sorrel are served, and sometimes it can be a real salad. The classic here is the Turkish shepherd salad, which is popular throughout Turkey. Turkish shepherd salad is also served in nearly every Turkish restaurant. In terms of the ingredients, it is a simpler version of the Greek shepherd's salad. There are no olives or cheese here, but there are crunchy vegetables and a subtle but tasty seasoning.


Which ingredients arr in the Turkish shepherd salad recipe?

Turkish shepherd salad consists of a few crunchy vegetables, olive oil, salt and lemon - it's that simple. In particular, you need cucumber, tomatoes, green peppers, onion and parsley. This results in a beautifully colorful and crunchy mishmash. Nevertheless, we don't have the feeling that anyone really says "Today we're having Coban salad!".


However, when a salad is made in Turkish households, the result is usually a simple shepherd salad. Sometimes other vegetables are added or the Turkish salad is prepared with pomegranate syrup - everyone does as they please. But the base of it all is this Turkish shepherd salad recipe made from the above ingredients. A variation of Turkish shepherd salad is Gavurdagi Salatasi, for example, which is additionally prepared with walnuts, pomegranate syrup and sumac.


From barbecue to stew: the Turkish shepherd salad is the perfect side dish

We think that salad simply brightens up any meal and makes the table look so much more attractive. You will find that Turkish shepherd's salad really can be and is served with any meal. Of course, a delicious meat dish, such as our minced meat skewers, with bulgur pilaf and this simple shepherd's salad are a typical combo.


But our Turkish shepherd salad recipe also tastes great with a savory stew. Oh, and what's really good is homemade pita bread filled with this Turkish shepherd salad. In general, it is not uncommon in Turkey to simply fill white bread with greens and vegetables. At my mom's in Austria, for example, we had flatbread or homemade lavash bread filled with sorrel, lettuce, mint, spring onions, parsley and other vegetables from the garden. A little salt and lemon on top, black tea on the side - that's all you really need. We therefore recommend serving this Turkish shepherd's salad recipe simply with a piece of bread. You'll need the bread at least to soak up the leftover tomato water, olive oil and lemon juice anyway...

turkish shepherd's salad recipe

Who did you call a donkey? 

When it comes to steps and ingredient lists, Turkish cuisine is really not very precise. You can actually do whatever you want and modify any recipe. BUT beware if the salad contains large pieces! Then people will wonder who you are serving this Eşek Salata (=donkey salad, i.e. salad for the donkey) to. That's why the most time-consuming part of this simple Turkish shepherd's salad recipe is the chopping. Dice the tomatoes nice and small, chop the onion, quarter the cucumbers and cut them into small slices, then nothing can go wrong.


Coban salatasi recipe: Turkish shepherd's salad

Ingredients (approx. 3 portions)

  • 3 tomatoes 
  • 1 small cucumber (or 1/2 large cucumber)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • parsley (approx. 1/4 bunch)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt


Step 1: Finely chop the onion and parsley. Clean the pointed bell pepper, cut it into strips and then into small pieces. Quarter the cucumber and cut it into pieces. Dice the tomatoes. It is best to use a sharp knife so that they do not lose any water.

Step 2: Mix the vegetables in a salad bowl and season the Turkish shepherd's salad with lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

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