Salad Olivieh

Serves: 10
Course: Salads
Cooking Time: 1 hr 0 mins
  • <ul> <li>750g (1lb 10oz) waxy potatoes (Charlotte or new potatoes work well)</li> <li>1 medium whole roast chicken, skin and bones removed, meat finely shredded</li> <li>300g (10½oz) pickled gherkins (preferably in brine, not vinegar), finely diced</li> <li>2 bunches of spring onions, thinly sliced</li> <li>8 large free-range eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped</li> <li>1 large bunch of coriander, leaves picked and finely chopped</li> <li>150g (5½oz) fresh or frozen peas, boiled for just a couple of minutes, then drained</li> <li>4 tbsp mayonnaise</li> <li>juice of 1 lemon, plus extra to taste </li> <li>6 tbsp Greek yogurt</li> <li>2 tbsp olive oil</li> <li>sea salt</li> <li>freshly ground black pepper</li> </ul>

One of the most popular salads in Iran, Salad Olivieh is believed to have taken its influence from Russia and the salade russe, made with potatoes, peas, carrots and mayonnaise. Naturally, we have made it our own – we have removed the carrot and added chicken, boiled eggs and cucumber, which improve it greatly in my opinion. I also like to add spring onions and coriander, and lighten it with a combination of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise so that it doesn’t feel as rich and heavy. It is often eaten as a sandwich filling, which is strangely good, too. (Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it...)

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and boil the potatoes until they are cooked through. Be careful not to overcook them - around 12 minutes usually does the trick, depending on their size. Drain, then immediately plunge them into iced water to stop them overcooking. Once cooled, drain and roughly chop them into 2.5cm (1in) chunks.

In the largest mixing bowl you can find, combine the potatoes with the shredded chicken, diced gherkins, spring onions, egg, coriander and peas. Using your hands, lightly toss them together, trying to avoid crushing them as much as possible.

In a small bowl, mix themayonnaise, lemon juice, Greek yogurt and olive oil together with a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and mix well using a wooden spoon. Some of the potato and egg will eventually get crushed and work its way into the salad dressing, which is exactly what should happen, so don’t worry – it makes the dish really tasty. Check the seasoning is to your liking and adjust the salt, pepper or lemon juice, if desired. Refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour before serving.