One Hundred and One Mezze: 13. Allspice Tomato Salad

Although the salad market in Syria is dominated by Tabouleh and Fattoush, many others are making presence. In restaurants in Syria people will order one of the many other options available on the menu. Olive, rocket and zaatar salads are as popular as Tabouleh between punters. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean the demise of the famous two. You will still get at least one of the two as a matter of default on your mezze spread. At home Tabouleh and Fattoush still dominate the table by a long way.

Today's recipe is a simple tomato salad. Needless to say, you need good quality tomatoes to get a decent tasting salad. The allspice dressing brings an extra depth and warmth to the simple flavour of tomatoes.

This salad can be a great mezze dish especially if you are serving grilled meats and kebabs. Another way I like to serve this salad is as a side to dry(ish) rice based dishes like Riz bi Bazalyah (peas rice) or Riz bi Foul (broad beans rice). These dishes are traditionally served with cucumber yoghurt sauce (tzaziki), but a bit of tomato salad could be a nice alternative.

This recipe is adapted from Po0pa Dwick's excellent book Aromas of Aleppo, The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.

Here is the Recipe:

Three ripe tomatoes (or good quality cherry tomatoes)
Allspice 1/2 tsp
Aleppo peppers 1/4 tsp (chilli flakes)
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Parsley (optional to add some colour)

Chop the tomatoes and sprinkle with some chopped parsley leaves. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Dress the tomatoes and serve.


Unknown said...

I am hoping for a good tomato crop this year - and this salad!

Kano said...

Do you grow your own tomatoes?

tasteofbeirut said...

Looking at it makes me want to make it this minute!

cookeaze said...

Simply beautiful. Your creations make me want to run into the kitchen and start preparing.Thanks for sharing a nice recipe..

Kano said...

@tasteofbeirut @cookeaze
Thank you very much. I hope you try it and like it.

Primary Work at Home said...

I will try this. This is a very healthy recipe.

Kano said...

@primary work at home

Welcome to my blog. I hope you like it!

Sarah said...

allspice adds an interesting twist to this simple tomato salad. There used to be a little restaurant here that made tomato salad with green chili peppers, fresh corainder (cilantro) and lemon/vinegar dressing. Is that a Syrian recipe as well? She called it Lebanese salad.

Kano said...


As a rule, in Syria (in Damascus at least) we never eat coriander raw. Not in salads, not in mezze. We always fry it in olive oil with garlic before we add it to warm dishes.

As far as I know Lebanon is the same, but I can't tell for a fact.

Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong, in south of Syria we eat the wild raw coriander with Labaneh, it's delicious and has a sharp test.

Kano said...

Thanks for the clarification.

AS you see, there is an exception to every rule. In South Syria they do eat raw coriander apparently.

MissGinsu said...

Just tried this one. Fast, easy and lovely, thank you. Reminds me of a very similar Italian salad, but the Aleppo pepper and allspice give it that special something.

Kano said...


Welcome to my blog!

I am so glad you liked the salad. I hope you try more dishes.

Anonymous said...

My Syrian husband found your blog I made this recipe last night it was delicious and refreshing especially after fasting all day. I will ce making dawod basha with fried cauliflower and the meat and cheese borak. shukran shukran shukran

Kano said...


You most welcome! I am so glad you liked the recipe and I hope you had a chance to try the other dishes and you enjoyed them.

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