Potato Salad (Salad e Oliveh)

June  1, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
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

  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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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.