Virtual Picnic, Persian Style: Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken)

Salad Olivieh is a Persian potato Salad studded with peas, dill pickles, eggs and chicken. It makes a wonderful appetizer or lunch.

Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken) by FamilySpice.com

Potato salad is one of those dishes that you can find recipes from all around the world: Germany, Poland, Italy, Russia, the United States. Here in the U.S., potato salad is the quintessential side dish to any family barbecue or picnic. I won’t lie. I’m not a huge fan of the gloopy, American potato salad. But then again, I was raised with a Persian potato salad, Salad Olivieh.

But even the Persian Salad Olivieh was influenced by another country, Russia and their Olivier Salad. The Russian version is typically made with potatoes, carrots, dill pickles, green peas, eggs, celeriac, onions, diced boiled chicken. It can include mustard, but is mixed with mayonnaise.

Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken) by FamilySpice.com

Even amongst Persian families, salad olivieh comes in many different forms. My mother adds carrot and mustard. I prefer mine without. Even my husband and I have differing preferences of salad olivieh, with his version having more mayonnaise and more finely chopped ingredients than mine. It’s like the crunchy versus creamy peanut butter debate.

So take this recipe more of an outline and customize it to your liking. When you visit a Persian home and see salad olivieh on the table, you will most certainly find it elaborately decorated. It is typically served in a smooth round mound and garnished beautifully with radishes, carrots, tomatoes, pickles and herbs, to name a few.

Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken) by FamilySpice.com

To make the rose (pictured above) use a sharp pairing knife and peel a tomato. Then use the toamato skin and roll it up like a rose. Easy peasy.

To make the radish and green onion flowers (pictured below), carefully make deep cuts into the radish and the onion part of your green onion, without cutting all the way through. Then immerse these veggies in ice water for about an hour. They will open up and bloom for you!

Salad Olivieh can be served alone or with bread. Yes, I’m sure you low carb eaters aren’t too thrilled about potatoes wrapped in bread, but salad olivieh sandwiches made with lavash is oh-so-devilishly-good.

Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken) by FamilySpice.com

Not a fan of mayo? Then try my Apple Cider Vinegar Potato Salad.

I’m bringing my salad olivieh to a virtual picnic with my Persian food blogging friends. You must check out their delectables and consider bringing any of these recipes to your next picnic or potluck!

Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken)

Salad Olivieh is a Persian potato Salad studded with peas, dill pickles, eggs and chicken. It makes a wonderful appetizer or lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large dill pickles, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • sliced radishes
  • green onions
  • fresh herbs

Directions:

  1. Wash and peel:
    • 1 pound russet potatoes
  2. Cut the potatoes in quarters, place in a large saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Add with the potatoes:
    • 3 large eggs
  4. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water and transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl to cool.
  5. Set eggs in a cold water bath to cool.
  6. While the eggs and potatoes cook, in a small pan over medium-high heat add:
    • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  7. Add to hot oil:
    • 1 boneless chicken breast
  8. Season chicken breast with:
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  9. Cook until the chicken breast is browned, then flip over and cook other side of chicken breast. Season second chicken side with:
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  10. Reduce heat to low and add:
    • 2 TBS lemon juice
  11. Cover pan and continue cooking until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear, about 15 minutes.
  12. Remove chicken from heat and cool.
  13. When potatoes are cool to touch, coarsely cut into 1/2-inch pieces in the mixing bowl.
  14. Peel the cooked eggs, dice and add to the potatoes.
  15. Dice the cooled chicken breast and add to the mix.
  16. Add to the potato mix:
    • 3 large dill pickles, diced
    • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  17. Mix the ingredients together.
  18. Stir in until smooth:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 TBS lemon juice
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  19. Cover and refrigerate salad olivieh until read to serve.
  20. When ready to serve, transfer salad to a serving plate and smooth into a round mound.
  21. Garnish as you please with:
    • sliced radishes
    • green onions
    • fresh herbs
  22. Serve alone or with lavash.

Prep Time:

Yield: approximately 8 cups

Cook Time:

Total Time:


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8 Responses to Virtual Picnic, Persian Style: Salad Olivieh (Persian Potato Salad with Chicken)

  1. Fariba at #

    Salad olivieh is a must have when you go on a picnic 😉 I want this now on my spread. love the recipe and your photos

  2. Laura jan, I cannot express enough how much I appreciate your presentation and photography. How true that each family has its own preference of ingredients in addition to the obvious basics and quantity of the dressing. What I see here is very tasty one and decorated beautifully.

  3. Naz at #

    Laura, I am SO impressed by your rose-carving artistry! Salad Olivieh was always a childhood favorite. And I love your version. Thank you for sharing and Happy Summer!

  4. Eha at #

    *big smile* Well, I have known this salad, made exactly the same way since my early childhood in Estonia . . . called ‘salad Olivier’ it was firmly regarded throughout Eastern Europe as of Russian background with a French heritage . . . am somewhat surprised it has managed to travel such a distance!! And get a slightly different spelling from its originator’s name . . .

  5. Oh how I love Salad Olivieh!! Love you pics!

  6. Jacob at #

    I’m Sorry but I have to correct you:
    1) First of all this is not Persian. It’s Russian. A French Chef originated that when he lived in Russia years ago and that’s why it has a French name as well. It is not Salad Olivieh. The correct term is Olivier Salad.
    2) It is incorrect to mention Frozen Pea as an ingredient. By saying that you are implying that fresh pea cannot be used(!) while it is actually much better.
    3) In the original recipe there is no lemon juice and even if it required lemon juice, it would be freshly squeezed lemon juice. Commercially prepared lemon juice, mostly, are a mixture of water, colour, preservatives and of drop of lemon juice!
    Good Luck with making real Olivier Salad!

    • Thank you for your detailed comments, Jacob, but if you had read my post you would have seen that I had mentioned in the second paragraph that Persian Salad Olivieh was influenced by the Russian Olivier Salad. I am not trying to recreate the Russian Olivier Salad at all. Fresh peas are very rare to find in American or even Persian grocery stores, which is why I use frozen. Of course you can use fresh. My family goes through gallons of lemon juice (yes, seriously) and we use both fresh and bottled. I leave it up to the reader to choose on their own which they prefer to use.

  7. Cathy at #

    This salad looks stunningly gorgeous and scrumptious.
    Your presentation & photos are breathtaking.
    Job well done.

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