Homemade Turkish Salad Recipe -- Frugal, Paleo, Vegan, and Delicious

Locals, when serving a nice meal, like to put out a spread of meze, salads and spreads and other dips to eat at the start of a meal. Hummus, tahini, roasted eggplant salad, spicy carrot salad, and marinated eggplant salad are all common to find as part of this mezze, but there are two tomato and pepper cooked salads that are served and I wasn't quite sure how to explain the difference between them to people, but knew I definitely preferred one to the other. The first is matbukha, and the second is what is known as Turkish salad, and that's the recipe I wanted to share with you today. The thing is, this Turkish salad, doesn't seem to actually be a Turkish recipe. The closest thing I've found to it in Turkish cuisine is ezme, but that doesn't seem to be it. It's kind of like how French fries aren't actually French (but Belgian in origin, which is what I learned on my trip there).

This recipe, whatever its origin, is actually one of my favorites. It is sweet and sour, a little bit spicy, and just so chock full of flavor and delicious. It's great eaten with some freshly baked bread, put as a condiment on a sandwich, eaten with potatoes (as I did for supper last night), or just to add an extra dose of deliciousness to any food you're eating.

Though it has a lot of ingredients, this recipe was quite simple to make once you stocked all of them. Note, this recipe makes a very large batch, so if you don't want quite so much, feel free to halve it. This freezes nicely, and is great to make with past prime peppers and tomatoes.
Note, I included the vegetables by cup as well as by how many vegetables it took, so that way you can use oddly shaped/sized veggies here or ones that you needed to cut off the bad parts so weren't using whole veggies.

Added bonus, its vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and allergy friendly. 

Homemade Turkish Salad Recipe -- Frugal, Paleo, Vegan, and Delicious

1/4 cup olive oil or other oil of choice
9 small tomatoes, or approximately 3 cups chopped
4 small yellow, orange, or red peppers or approximately 2 1/2 cups chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 large onion or 2 cups chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (leave out or replace with more parsley if you're a cilantro hater)
1 1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sweetener of choice, whether white sugar, demerara sugar, coconut sugar, date syrup, honey, etc...)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cumin
4 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 hot peppers (optional)


1. Chop up your tomatoes and peppers very finely and mince your garlic.

2. Heat up your oil, and add tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.

3. Cook for 5 minutes, uncovered, on a high heat.

4. Dice your onion. Add to your pot, mix well, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes.

5. Chop your parsley and cilantro and add them to the pot together with the rest of the ingredients, as well as the hot peppers if using, and bring to a boil.

6. Chill before serving.

7. Enjoy! Serve

That's it! Totally easy!

Have you ever had Turkish salad before? Ever make it from scratch? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? Also, if you are Turkish, do you know if this is truly a Turkish dish, and if so, what is its Turkish name? 

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Thank you. This looks like a great cool salad for the summer.

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