’Spoon Salad’ (Chopped Tomato, Walnut and Sumac Salad)



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in


By David Dale and Somer Sivrioglu

Published 2015

  • About

This salad is served with kebaps all over Turkey, and is designed to be eaten with a spoon. It’s just a finely chopped salad, with the tomato pieces no bigger than the pomegranate seeds, but you’ll see it on menus in Istanbul described as the famous ‘Gavurdağ’ salad (apparently named after a mountain in southeast Anatolia). My friend Musa points out in his scholarly journal Yemek ve Kültür (Food and Culture) that there’s a trend in Turkey for chefs to give obscure names to standard dishes in an attempt to suggest authentic regional origins. This could well be one of those.


  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch mint
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 115 g (4 oz/1 cup) walnuts
  • 3 green bullhorn peppers (or 1 green capsicum/pepper)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (to make your own)
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 150 g ( oz/½ cup) pomegranate seeds


Quarter the tomatoes, remove the white centres and then finely chop. Finely chop the red onion. Discard the mint and parsley stalks and finely chop the leaves. Finely chop the walnuts. Cut the bullhorn peppers and the chilli in half, and remove the seeds and stalks. Finely chop. Mix all the chopped ingredients together in a salad bowl.

Mix the sumac, molasses, olive oil, vinegar and salt together, pour onto the salad and toss.

Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top and serve.