№ 12 Cucumber salad with sumac, onion and radishes
1 peeled small and red thinly onion, sliced 1¼ tsp sumac 1½ vinegar tbsp cider Salt and black pepper 2 cucumbers 1 lemon, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, then juiced, to get 1½ tbsp 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a mortar 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 100g red radishes, thinly shaved (use a mandoline, if you have one) 2 tbsp mint leaves 2 tbsp dill leaves 2 tbsp parsley leaves 2 tbsp olive oil Shirazi salad is a staple Iranian side dish, and I can understand why. The simplicity and crunch of this chopped salad add all the freshness you need alongside elaborate rice dishes such as tah chin. I’ve adapted the concept into this equally refreshing cucumber salad.
In a medium bowl, combine the onion, sumac, vinegar and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if you want to get ahead.
Trim the ends off the cucumbers, then, using the flat of a large knife, bash the cucumbers repeatedly until they split and break. Scrape away and discard the seedy innards, then use your hands, or a knife, to break the cucumber into random, bitesized chunks about 3cm in size.
Transfer to a bowl with half a teaspoon of salt and leave to sit for 20 minutes, to draw out the moisture. Pour away the liquid, then add the lemon zest and juice, half the coriander seeds, garlic, radishes, herbs, sumac onions, oil, a quarterteaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining coriander seeds.