Salad Olivieh

by My Persian Kitchen on April 9, 2010

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I can’t even begin to express how much I love Salad Olivieh. I love it soo sooo so much! It is our version of potato salad. What I find interesting is that Russians have a similar salad as well upon a conversation that I had with my adopted Russian mom Mela, whom I have talked about in the Pirashki post.

For me Salad Olivieh will forever be associated with my birthday because that’s when my grandma made it for me. So it safe to say that it was a special treat! Today happens to be my birthday, so I think it is the best day to feature this dish!!

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The picture above is from my 10th birthday party.  I feel the need to point out my childhood best friend in this picture.  The adorable girlie with the biggest smile to my left is Yassi. We were best friends from 1st grade until 4th grade when I left Iran.  We lost touch for about 20 years until she found me and we realized we both live in So Cal!

 

My Grandma used to always have birthday parties for me and fill the table with delicious food. As I said Salad Olivieh was a staple. She always decorated the top to make it pretty.  Follow the arrows in the picture above for the two platters! Maman Fakhri was so awesome for so many reasons.

It’s pretty amazing that I love this salad as much as I do because, to be honest, I am not a fan of Mayo. Oh no, not me. I am the ” hold the mayo and  mustard only” type of girl on my sandwiches. And here is the thing, Iranians love to make this salad with plenty of mayo.  And the worst part of it all? They even like to spread the top of the salad with mayo.

But not me! I use a lot less mayo in my own salad. Now, I have to warn you that my Salad Olivieh is slightly different than the traditional one. While all the ingredients are the same, the way I make it’s slightly different in the sense that I have cut down the prep time considerably.   This is a very time consuming dish to make and being an Aries, I can sometimes be inpatient.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all about slow food movement and making everything from scratch, but between the cooking and cutting, this dish takes way too long.  But thank God for my adopted Russian mom, she suggested a couple of shortcuts and I ran with them!

Ingredients

3 medium large potatoes, cooked

3 eggs, hard boiled

2 cups shredded chicken

2 cups frozen peas and carrots

19 oz can of Persian pickles

Dressing

2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp  mustard

1/8 cup olive oil

salt & pepper

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First short cut: pick your favorite roast chicken. My local Albertson’s makes a delicious Lemon Basil roast chicken.  You can cook your own chicken from scratch, but the added flavor from the roast chicken is really good!

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Removed bones and skin and shred chicken. Also give it a rough chop to make the pieces a bit smaller.

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Small dice the eggs and pickles.

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Dice the potatoes as well making them slightly bigger in size than the pickles and eggs.

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Short cut two: Buy a bag of frozen peas and carrots.  In the traditional Salad Olivieh the peas and carrots should be cooked.  Mela informed me that the secret to a good Salad Olivieh is to not cook the peas. So I took this advice a step further and also saved the time spent on cutting the carrots. I just throw the peas and carrots in my salad raw, straight out of the bag.

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Place all ingredients in a big mixing bowl.

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In a different mixing bowl prepare the dressing by mixing mayo, mustard, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.  I personally have a love affair with Dijon mustard, but you can use regular mustard too!

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Mix ingredients and dressing well.

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Taste and check seasoning.  Cover and let rest in the fridge for a few hours allowing the flavors to come together.

Salad Olivieh is an excellent addition to your appetizers table, a great side dish, and a fantastic choice for a picnic.  It is also delicious in a sandwich form, either with pita bread or French baguette!

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Sony Gervais May 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

We have the George Foreman Grill, for cold winter days, but find it does a terriable job for things like Jujeh chicken, when you close the lid it does more “steam cooking” that grilling. We sometimes use it for our “Lulu kabob” which is like Koobideh. For Lulu or Koobideh, you can always throw it in the oven on 375 for about 35 minutes.

Pavel May 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Great blog! Just made your Ghormeh Sabzi and it is delicious.

Thought you might like to know more about the Russian-French Olivier. The wiki (in Russian only, unfortunately): http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9E%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%B2%D1%8C%D0%B5_%28%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%82%29. The important parts, though: allegedly created in the Moscow restaurant Hermitage, by French chef Lucien Olivier in early 1860s, the original salad included: potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, mayo, hazel-grouse, lobster necks, 1/4cup veal bouillion, olives and capers. In Soviet times, they replaced the lobster necks with boiled carrot, the grouse with bologna, olives and capers with green peas, lobster necks with boiled egg, and cucumbers with pickles— apparently even fresh cucumbers were hard to come by!

Best,
Pavel

Fabiola May 19, 2012 at 12:25 am

I enjoyed you description of S.O. and the pictures of your b party. I have one of myself in Iran looking exactly the same.

In my family we never used carrots.

I am vegetarian so I just leave out the chicken- tastes fab too.
I have also a ‘healthy’ version were I leave it out the mayo completely and soak the salad in olive oil.

I just love the finish of it all – lovely tomato flowers as decoration.

Sondra Golzad July 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Thank you so much for the way in which you have shared this recipe. I am a Native Texan Married to a Native Iranian. Enough said… not quite :>) I am cooking and though my mother in law does really make super delish Salad Olivieh unfortunately she is not here to assist me while I make mine. She is at home in another country. Your pictures really help along with your short cuts. I am planning to make this tonight for a group of friends (which I will serve tomorrow) and I will take a picture of my end result to send to you. Do you have a fool proof :>P recipe for gheimeh? That is my hubby’s absolute favorite.

Sincerely,
Sondra

Negar August 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

Hi there. I’m looking for a recipe for Persian mayo. Do you happen to know a recipe for it? Persian mayo tastes much better than American mayo!
Thanks!

My Persian Kitchen August 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

Negar, I don’t know about the difference between the two as I am not a mayo fan!

Ryan B October 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I just finished making this recipe. It came out delicious!!! This tastes as good or better then when my mom used to make it when I was a kid. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!!

steve October 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for the recipe. The pictures are cool too. (and the picture in your avatar shws you’re very beautiful)

Krysty October 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Hi! And thanks for your great food blog – I have it now permanently bookmarked. I love your page for a ton a reasons, first I’ll share, that I had to chuckle, as I read the frank salad olivieh instructions, including short cuts from your Russian mom, as I am going to make salad olivieh tonight, a favorite I adopted from my Persian friend, and I scrolled down, and saw the roasted chicken, which my Russian friend just discovered and was raving about. Too funny the coincidence! I also love your birthday party picture…I love Persian food spreads, and will continue to aspire to accomplish the same in my own home. Thanks again. I look forward to exploring more of your site. My big goal some day of course: Ghormeh Sabzi… Take care.

tara April 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

hi there thank u so much for ur nice explanation that s a new way specially ur dressing

Sharmel June 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

This recipe is simple and absolutely delicious ~ Everyone loved it and I will make again and again, thanks so much :-)

asif July 20, 2013 at 2:10 am

What a fantastic post, the family history alone made it worthwhile. I like olivieh but my wife is crazy about it, like someone else mentioned I’m going to try this but without the carrots.

Mike August 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I lost track of how times you wrote “I” and “me” in that blog, wow. Anyway great recipe, thanks!

Mary G. November 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

What are Persian Pickles?

My Persian Kitchen November 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

Mary, you can get an idea of what Persian Pickles are based on this post that I wrote a while back: http://mypersiankitchen.com/persian-pickled-cucumbers/

Farrokh February 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

If you don’t remember difference between the Persian and store-bought mayo, then you must have forgotten it! Big difference and I wish you would find out how it’s made and kindly share it with us. Trust me it would be worth the trouble. I haven’t had Salad Olivieh in maybe 40 years but what I most remember is the mayo spread on top (like cake dressing). Thanks and I love your web site.

Jeff A May 30, 2014 at 9:01 pm

This dish is a great dish and is becoming one of my family favorite dish. As matter of fact I thought my daughter to make it and she makes it better than me.
However I make it the old traditional way without carrots and I also leave the egg out as it fatten the taste. The other modification is the fact that I use food processor (thanks to my wife) to chop the chicken, pickles, and I add chop black olive.
When it is all mixed it is soft and creamy where you can serve it as a dip with toasted pitta bread, fresh carrots, celery or any other vegetable.
We always enjoy this dish specially in a family gathering.

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