Now that summer is here, “cooking supper” has become “making supper.” It’s hot outside and I don’t want to make my house any warmer by heating up the kitchen. My menus on hot days are very likely to include some version of a cold protein-based salad, with some crunchy veggies added for texture and flavor. One of our family favorites is Olivieh, or Persian Potato Salad.
From my husband’s Persian family, I was introduced to Olivieh (pronounced Oh-loh-vee-ay). It is a potato salad with chicken added, along with hard-boiled eggs, peas, pickles, and sometimes other colorful vegetables like carrots and red peppers. There is a lot of variety between different versions because each family has its own way of making it.
My sister-in-love shared her recipe with me, and the main way I have adapted it for Type 2 diabetes, is to change the proportion of protein to carbohydrates. For her version, potatoes make up 75% of the contents. For our family, potatoes make up about 25% of the contents, with protein-rich chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and peas shifting the balance to be more in favor of protein than carbs.
Once all the ingredients are prepped, it is an easy fix. As with all combined salads, refrigerating for at least an hour after mixing ensures that the flavors have a chance to mingle.
Decorating the Olivieh is quite a flourish in Persian cuisine. I usually just decorate mine with alternating strips of pickles and pimento.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Line a medium-sized bowl with plastic wrap and pack the salad into it.
To serve, upend the bowl onto a plate, remove the bowl and the plastic wrap, and decorate the mound of Olivieh with the pickles, olives, and pimento pieces.
Persian cuisine serves this salad with toasted flat bread. Makes 10 3/4-cup servings.