parsley salad with cucumbers and sesame seeds (gf + v)

August 26, 2021

parsley salad with cucumbers and sesame seeds (gf + v)

serves 2-4

This salad is inspired by the abundance of parsley at the middle eastern restaurants I grew up eating at. That, and the ever presence of cucumbers in the quick salads my mother made. I serve it with Pakistani food because it’s light, tart, and bright, whereas the desi lentils and stews I cook are saucy and filling. But it’s equally good with a gingery salmon I make on repeat, piled on the side and eaten in the same bite. The sesame seeds give the salad a warmth and crunch, which feels just right within the little tower of herbs. Here’s the recipe with some extra details that might be helpful. The amounts below are approximations, but the salad should be about 70 percent parsley and 30 percent cukes – just eyeball it, you can’t mess this up.


1 large bunch of parsley (about 2 cups packed)
1 medium field cucumber,
3 Persian, or half a hot house
1 lemon extra virgin olive oil
sea or flaky salt cracked pepper
2 heaped tbsp sesame seeds
small handful sprouts (optional)


Step 1. Place the sesame seeds in a dry skillet and toast on medium heat till they turn golden brown. Don’t leave you pan because the whole process will take about 3-4 minutes. Keep actively shimmying your pan as the seeds toast to make sure they are evenly browning. Once most have turned a golden brown with some still caramel, take the pan off the heat and pour the seeds into a small bowl.

Step 2. Wash and dry your parsley. I like to clean my herbs by filling up a large bowl of cool water and swirling the greens around in the water. Doing it this way prevents the leaves from bruising and the dirt easily sinks to the bottom. I usually do this twice to make sure my herbs are clean.

Step 3. Roughly chop the parsley and add to a medium size platter or bowl. I peel the skin off field cucumbers and scrape the seeds if they’re big. Cut the cucumbers in ¼ inch thick pieces – squares or half-moons. Whatever shape you’re feeling, just make sure they’re not too big. Add these to the platter along with the sprouts (if using).

Step 4. Dress the parsley and cucumbers with a generous squeeze of lemon juice (about the juice of 1/2 a lemon), a zig zag drizzle of olive oil, a couple pinches of flaky salt, several cracks of pepper, and most of your sesame seeds. Toss it gently together and taste. It should be lemon-forward and tart. Adjust the seasonings to your liking and gently toss again. Sprinkle the remaining seeds on top and serve.


I added some sprouts because I had them lying around, but that was a last-minute thing and completely optional. Most times I make this salad without them.

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