Turkish Food Snapshot: Salads

Salads have been making a regular appearance at our dinner table, and with the temperatures reaching 100 F, it’s the ideal summer meal. Usually in Turkey, salad (or salata in Turkish) is a side dish, accompanying heartier vegetable and meat dishes. In our household, we have switching it up a little, and are making giant bowls of salads to combat the summer heat.

Turkish salads are pretty similar to American salads, with basic ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. For protein sometimes we add tuna, or eggs. A big difference that I’ve experienced with salads here in Turkey is that they add a lot of different herbs to the mix, including my favorite: roka (rocket), which has a bitter earthy, taste.

Salad dressing here is also a bit different than it’s American counterpart. In the U.S. we like to smoother our greens with heavy, often calorie-laden dressings. In Turkey, dressing is much simpler, usually consisting of vinegar and olive oil. Sometimes lemon is substituted for the vinegar.