Spring Green Istanbul Salad

I’m a little opposed to the idea of salad recipes. That is, if the salad is carb-free. After all, aren’t I just throwing a bunch of vegetables together and calling it a day? A healthy day, that is? But, the other day I came up with the most delicious combination and thought, “Others need to know about this!” Now, my friends, I understand why there are salad recipes on the internet. The world could miss out on so many delightful combinations, and we wouldn’t want that to happen.

Prior to moving overseas, I didn’t really know what it meant to eat vegetables in season. Truth be told, I didn’t know what was in season when. After all, you can find watermelon in cute serving trays ready to take to parties easily enough in the produce section of my grocery store back home. When I moved to Budapest I was in for a rude awakening. You mean, I can’t whip up an asparagus dish in December? Why not?! Well, because there was none. Oh. I lived there two years and learned a lot, and now I appreciate produce in season. After all, it’s significantly more delicious when eaten when the Good Lord intended it to be, not six months later due to some special genetic modification or airplane that hauled it thousands of miles to get to my plate.

After waiting through the winter, I was delighted with the many varieties of spring greens that I found at my local pazar this week. Not only that, cilantro and basil made a guest appearance as well! I had one focus Thursday night after my shopping spree, salad. And, I haven’t stopped since. Ready to hear about my new favorite salad? Here we go!

Ingredients to serve 2 (or 2.5 if you count the fact that I’m on a breastfeeding hunger rampage!):

Fresh spring lettuce, green leaf- 4 leaves

Fresh spinach- 4 or 5 big leaves

1 carrot, chopped into small pieces

1 red pepper chopped into small pieces

1 cucumber chopped into small pieces

1 tomato chopped into small pieces

1 green onion (taze soğan) chopped into small pieces

A few sprigs of cilantro (kişniş), chopped

A few basil leaves, (fesleğen) chopped

The juice of half of a lemon

A splash of olive oil

1/2 tsp red pepper (pül biber)

1/2 to 1 cup white cheese (beyaz peynir)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve and enjoy.

Istanbul Spring Green Salad. Hoş Geldin Ilk Bahar!


About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

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