The Armenian summer salad with walnuts is everything and a little more one can look for in a salad. It is about refreshingly tangy and sweet tomatoes and cucumbers all coated in the earthy tastes of walnuts and olive oil.
Have you ever thought of adding an Armenian compliment to your lunch or dinner? The answer is, most likely not. But, you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t correct this big mistake right away. Armenian cuisine is obviously different from what Americans traditionally eat. Each of the dishes offered by these Transcaucasian people contains a strong cultural and traditional connotation.
The Armenian people are very fond of spices like many other Asian nations do. They use various spices, one more intense than the other. Probably, in this way, they reflect the burning spirit that dominates them in the whole nation.
But today it is not about their culture. Rather, it is about a tasty and amazingly lightweight recipe that, one way or another, makes reference to their cultural heritage. It’s about the Armenian Summer Salad. I know that a “summer salad” didn’t surprise you too much. I’m sure you already know hundreds of salad recipes that combine various summer ingredients. However, do not rush to judge ahead of time.
The specificity, or the secret, of this delicious Armenian summer salad with walnuts, lies in its special dressing. Besides the unique way of preparing all the ingredients, this dressing delivers a one-of-a-kind taste.
What will amaze you in this recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients. You won’t find vegetables in this salad that you’re not familiar with. More than that, you’ve probably used them hundreds of times, in different combinations. However, their preparation technique, as well as the dressing based on walnuts will complement it with a unique taste. A taste that you could have enjoyed only if you visited a Transcaucasian country or restaurant where you could be delighted with authentic delicacies.
I think that’s enough with the introduction. I can’t wait to share the ingredients and the preparation technique so you can taste this delicious salad. Prepare napkins for your guests because they will surely lick their fingers.
Ingredients for Armenian Summer Salad with Walnuts
- 3-4 medium tomatoes;
- 3-4 medium cucumbers;
- 1 red onion; a white one will totally do if you don’t have a red one. However, red onion has a crispy texture and spicy-to-mild flavor. Exactly what you need for a Transcaucasian recipe. In addition, this adds a splash of color to your serving;
- 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar;
- 1 cup of whole walnuts;
- parsley and cilantro;
- garlic and salt to your taste;
- Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil will do if you have no other options. However, I guess you want a healthier choice for your cooking;
- chili, although it’s optional.
How to prepare Armenian Summer Salad with Walnuts
The most difficult part of this Armenian summer salad with walnuts is preparing the tomatoes, as strange as it sounds. This is because you have to peel them properly, which involves removing their skin after a hot “bath”. This is the biggest effort in the whole recipe for the Armenian summer salad. And the process goes like this:
Put a medium saucepan with water on the boil. In the meantime, wash the tomatoes well and cut the shallow skin on top in a cross shape. This will help you peel them more easily. When the water in the saucepan boils, take a tomato with a spatula and dip it in the boiling water. Hold it for no more than 3-5 seconds until the peel softens. Then, place the tomato on a cutting board. All you have to do is remove the softened skin from each tomato and cut it into cubes. This is the biggest effort you put into this Armenian summer salad with walnuts. The rest is a piece-a-cake.
Wash the cucumbers well and remove the skin layer in places. Then, cut them lengthwise, and then crosswise, getting pieces of different shapes. Cut the red onion into semicircles. For those who don’t really like onions that are too hot, I recommend mixing them with a little salt and a few tablespoons of apple or wine vinegar before adding them to the mixture of ingredients. The salt and vinegar will soften the spice and the pungent smell, yet, the onion will preserve its crispy texture.
That’s all! You have prepared all the ingredients. All it’s left to do is add them to a bowl and move on to the key element of this Armenian summer salad with walnuts: the salad dressing.
How to make the dressing for Armenian Summer Salad with Walnuts
The dressing of this dish is very simple and extremely healthy. The Walnut is definitely one of the ingredients one should include more often in their menu thanks to the walnut’s health benefits. All you have to do is put the walnuts, 2 cloves of garlic, and the parsley in a kitchen mixer. Those who love cilantro will also add it to this mix in this step. Though, you are welcome to skip it if it’s not to your taste. Season the orchestra of ingredients with extra virgin olive oil and pulse the blender for a few seconds. You will receive a consistent paste that will deftly flatter the final dish.
What remains is to amalgamate all the ingredients. The color scheme between bright green and fresh red, with pink accents of red onion will blend harmoniously with the consistent texture of the creamy dressing. To complete this fresh masterpiece, season the salad with salt & pepper according to your own taste.
Place the salad on your serving plate and decorate it with a hot pepper. The salad is ready for those who want to discover a new, fresh taste of tomatoes and cucumbers.
How to serve the Armenian Summer Salad with Walnuts
Armenians know better than anyone how to combine vegetables with nutritious, health-friendly, and delicious toppings. In the end, Mother Nature endowed them with fertile lands from which they learned how to benefit the most. And this salad is living proof. You can serve this fresh portion of nutrients with meat dishes such as keto meatloaf, keto pizza, air fryer pork skewers, as well as with fish dishes such as poached sea bass, or air fryer salmon with skin. Feel free to serve this delicious Armenian summer salad with walnuts alone as a main dish, it is nutritious enough if you take into account the number of calories. It is equally delectable in any form. Enjoy!
Armenian summer salad with walnuts
- 3-4 medium tomatoes ripe
- 3-4 medium cucumbers
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 tbsp wine vinegar to marinate the onion
- 1 medium chili pepper optional, for serving
- 1 cup walnuts whole
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 handful parsley or cilantro
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Wash, score, and poach the tomatoes, then remove the skin. Cut the tomatoes into 4 or 6 pieces and put into a large bowl
- Wash, peel, and cut the cucumbers into large chunks, the same size as the tomatoes. Add to the tomatoes
- Peel and thinly slice the onion. Put in a small bowl, salt the onion, and drizzle some wine or apple vinegar. Let it marinate for a few minutes then drain the liquid. Add it to the veggies when ready
How to make the walnuts and parsley dressing
- Put the walnuts, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil into a blender and pulse until it becomes a mass similar to a paste. You may add a little bit of water for a smoother consistency
- Use a spatula or spoon to transfer the walnut dressing to the bowl with the veggies
- Gently mix everything and add a few slices of chili pepper if wanted