Persian Potato Salad (Salad e Oliveh)

October  4, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

I was inspired to dig up my recipe for this Iranian version of potato salad during a quest for cold meals. While there are several components, it's well worth the effort because it's so much more than a side dish—it's an entire meal. I like to serve it with warm flatbread or toasted baguette and a dandelion greens or arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Because this has mayonnaise, pack it in a cooler if you are eating outdoors. —sdebrango

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Sdebrango is an unstoppable 4-time contest winner and mashed potato whisperer.
WHAT: A potato salad to call "dinner."
HOW: Make mashed potatoes, then mix in some sliced cornichons, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and shredded chicken. In lieu of butter, add lemon juice, olive oil, and mayonnaise, then gently fold in green peas. Your delightfully starchy dinner is served.
WHY WE LOVE IT: At first glance we had our doubts, but then we recognized the brilliance of this simple potato salad. It's a three-for-one: It has creamy goodness from mashed potatoes, umami from chicken, and crisp brightness from tangy cornichons, lemon, and green peas. We don't want to bring you into our intra-office drama, but let's just say there was a battle for which lucky editor got to take the leftovers home. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 6 to 8 potatoes (I like Yukon Gold. If the potatoes are large, use 6. If they're medium-small, use 8.)
  • 1 cup cornichons, chopped
  • 1 small chicken (baked or boiled and shredded; you could use leftover chicken too)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 to 2 cups mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup canned, fresh, or frozen baby peas
  • Bread of your choice, for serving. I like with either warmed flat bread or baguette drizzled with olive oil and toasted.
  • Lemon wedges
  • Chopped chives, for serving
  1. Peel potatoes and boil them whole, until they are fork tender but not falling apart. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Mash with a hand-held masher.
  2. Chop the cornichons. In a large bowl, mix the cornichons, shredded chicken, hard-boiled egg, and potatoes. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Add more mayonnaise according to your taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the peas, gently incorporating so you don't mash them.
  3. Refrigerate overnight. When you serve, heat your bread. Squeeze lemon and drizzle olive oil over the salad and garnish with chives. Scoop with the warm bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • eatchimac
  • ariel a
    ariel a
  • krusher
  • Julianna
  • Sue O'Bryan
    Sue O'Bryan
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.

28 Reviews

Lucyck May 23, 2021
I love this salad, and get it regularly from our local Persian restaurant. I've just made it and this is just as good, if not better. Thanks so much for sharing this brilliant recipe.
sdebrango May 23, 2021
You are so welcome and you made my day. Thank you so much for making my recipe. Hope you have a wonderful day!
Lucyck May 23, 2021
No, thank you! And have a lovely Sunday yourself too x
sdebrango May 23, 2021
eatchimac March 30, 2021
Oh, I didn’t try Potato Salad Recipe. Now I can make it at home. So glad for sharing this recipe Now I can make it at home. It looks delicious. Now I can share your blog with my friend circle. I am so glad after seeing your recipe, Thanks for sharing this recipe. Food is one of the biggest topics of conversation online and offline. Keep it up, I am waiting for your next recipe!
ariel A. June 11, 2015
I may or may not have squealed when I saw this! Salad e oliveh would always be a treat for me growing up. True to my Persian roots, the sour bits of Israeli pickles (which my mom would use instead of cornichons) were the main reason I could never get enough of this. Congratulations on the win, Suzanne, and thanks for introducing a great Persian recipe to the site!
ariel A. June 11, 2015
You're so welcome! I can't wait to try your version.
CHERYL W. June 1, 2015
Congrats Suzanne-nice job and win!!! Your Florida Bud always, Cheryl
krusher June 1, 2015
Fantastic that you won Suzanne! I cooked the recipe yesterday. It was excellent. Thank you.
Julianna June 1, 2015
Congrats Suzanne! You won! I was just logging in to vote for you and now I see that you have won! This salad is definitely going into my recipe stash! I can't wait to try it out!
Sue O. May 27, 2015
here I am again, now I'm congratulating you in the proper venue. This website is almost overwhelming, do you feel? So much good stuff to sniff and smell and look at! My mom would love this potato salad because she loves cornichons and green peas. Maybe if I made it she would put me out of the doghouse she put me in earlier this week :( Mothers & daughters . . . . . My favorite part of this recipe is #3 . . . drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and chives. That trinity improves anything.
Cristina S. May 23, 2015
"Sdebrango is an unstoppable 4-time contest winner and mashed potato whisperer" !!! Pretty great credentials :) Can't wait to try this potato salad!
bonheurcuisine May 22, 2015
You are the best, my friend!!
CHERYL W. May 21, 2015
You Rock Suzanne!!! Your Florida Bud always, Cheryl
aargersi May 21, 2015
Yay Suzanne! Mashed potato whisperer indeed! Just in time for memorial day
Madhuja May 21, 2015
Congratulations on being a finalist! You are on fire!! :)
Jenny G. May 21, 2015
Congratulations on also making it to the finals (though it seems like you are quite the seasoned competitor!)! I am looking forward to trying this salad as I LOVE POTATO salad and love the simplicity of this one!
QueenSashy May 21, 2015
I love this salad, reminds me of a salad my mom used to make -- homey and comforting, a tiny, warm blanket of salad love...
Kukla May 21, 2015
I am very glad to congratulate you Suzanne ones again; now for your recipe being chosen as a finalist! Good luck!
Kukla July 21, 2012
Congratulations, Suzanne on your Community Pick! Your recipe is a nice variation on a classic dish.
EmilyC July 14, 2012
Yep, I missed this one too but LOVE the sounds of it. Saved!
lapadia July 12, 2012
Perfect picnic fare, Suzanne...and delicious, too! Somehow missed this the first time around.
creamtea July 10, 2012
Yum! Love anything Persian (I visited Iran in the '70's). This sounds delightful.
Nozlee S. July 9, 2012
I LOOOOOOVE salad olivieh! This recipe is a classic.