Salad olivieh

18 May

Salad olivieh

I’ve made salad olivieh before, but this version is a knock-out. The roasted fennel and mustard seeds add lovely warmth to the dressing, and the Greek yogurt makes it less cloying than dressings made with mayonnaise.

The recipe comes from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia – a gift from my dear friend Mary during our visit to Bahrain last month.

Although the author is of mixed Persian-Jewish ancestry and grew up in the US, many recipes are similar to dishes we’d enjoyed on our holiday. It is both a nice reminder and an encouragement to cook more Middle Eastern food.

I piled my salad olivieh into individual Romaine lettuce leaves to make little salad boats, which I ate in front of the telly while catching up on the parts of The Good Wife I dozed through last night.

Salad olivieh

  • 750g new potatoes
  • 2 chicken breasts (or equivalent amount of leftover roast chicken)
  • 1 Tb yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 Tb coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tb olive oil
  • juice of a large lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup green olives, halved
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced crosswise
  • small bunch parsley, finely chopped (about half a cup)
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce, to serve
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Cool, peel and cut into half or quarters, depending on their size.
  2. Grill the chicken breasts, then leave to cool. Chop into rough pieces and set aside.
  3. In a small frying pan over medium-high heat, dry fry the mustard seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds for about a minute, or until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then grind to a powder in a spice grinder.
  4. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the ground spices, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and yogurt.
  5. Add the chicken pieces, stirring to coat them with the dressing.
  6. Gently fold in the potatoes, olives, green onions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce, or heaped into individual lettuce leaves.


9 Responses to “Salad olivieh”

  1. JACKIE MCLAUGHLIN May 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    You sure get around…what were you doing in Bahrain?

    • Andrea May 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

      Besides eating all sorts of delicious Bahraini food? We were visiting some good friends who’ve been living there for the past couple of years.

  2. Lucy Day May 18, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    Sounds delicious!

    Hello and how are you? Love this blog. The sourdough on my must-do list!

    Do you happen to have any Persian recipes requiring dried limes? I ate a delicious beef stew/tagine type of meal with them in in a Persian restaurant with a friend and foolishly fantasised about having them and replicating the dish and am now the proud owner of the gear (or said limes) and no idea and don’t know the first thing about Persian cookery. Any tips greatly appreciated!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Andrea May 19, 2016 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks Lucy! I now have a goodly supply of dried limes as well… 😉 So far, I’ve used them to make the chicken machboos recipe on the site, and also bashed a couple of them with a pestle then steeped in boiling water to make a sort of tea, that we served with another Persian meal. Andrea x

  3. mash29 May 19, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    This looks delicious! I’ve never heard of salad olivieh before but I think I will have to try it. 🙂

    • mash29 May 19, 2016 at 9:56 am #

      PS How much yoghurt do you use? It’s not on the ingredient list

      • Andrea May 19, 2016 at 10:33 am #

        Thanks for pointing that out! I used one cup of Greek yogurt – recipe now amended… Hope it turns out well for you 🙂

  4. Margo May 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    My dinner entertaining is drifting toward the endless tapas kind of menu. This dish will be a perfect component for the next one.

    • Andrea May 19, 2016 at 5:16 pm #


Leave a Reply to mash29 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: