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Cucumber and Walnut Salad (Hiyar Salatasi)

The crunchy, slightly bitter walnuts blend beautifully with the sweet-sharp pomegranate seeds and cooling cucumber in this very refreshing salad. It’s a lovely meze dish but also goes particularly well with grilled halloumi, or any fish or poultry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, about 4 oz. (400 g)
  • 1 tsp. pul biber or mild chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz./150 g) roughly chopped walnuts
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed, or to taste

Directions:

Split the cucumber in half, and using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice the flesh into semicircles. In a serving dish, mix together the cucumber, pul biber or mild chili flakes, salt, walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, then add the garlic. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serves 4.

Adapted from Istanbul, by Rebecca Seal (Hardie Grant Books, 2013).