Just as the good old herb butter baguette, pasta salads and potato salads are simply part of any BBQ. Fair enough. A little variation never hurt anyone though. So how about an oriental salad like the Persian olivieh salad (which btw is adapted from the Russian olivier salad) or a fresh rice salad. Those two rank among the satisfying/ filling salads – you know, the ones with a little more than just some greens – and are also a good idea beyond the BBQ season.
Olivieh salad is one of the most popular dishes in Iran. There it’s not only eaten as a salad but also used as a filling for sandwiches. It also used to be one of those dishes that my dad would make quite often – especially when we were invited to a party or such. I wasn’t a huge fan of it at that time since I had to peel all the potatoes… But in the end it was always worth it, because everyone really loved it.
Even if the salad isn’t very photogenic, believe me, it’s the most delicious! Or even better: don’t believe me and just try it yourself! And whilst you’re at it, why don’t you try some other Persian recipes – it’s ALWAYS worth it!
Olivieh Salad is one of the most popular dishes in Iran. There it's not only eaten as a salad, but also used as a filling for sandwiches. This version is vegan, which means compared to the traditional recipe, this one doesn't contain chicken or eggs. However, you could substitute both with tofu or chickpeas, I guess.
- 500 g potatoes, waxy (about 2 cups)
- 150 g frozen peas and carrots (about 1 cup)
- 250 g pickled cucumbers, finely diced (1 small jar)
- 1 bunch green onion, finely sliced
- 4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise s. recipe below
- 4 tbsp soy yoghurt
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- lemon juice to taste
Cook potatoes (incl. the ones for the mayonnaise) with their skins on in a large pot filled with plentiful water.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Peal potatoes and cut them into about 1 inch big cubes.
Dash frozen peas and carrots with piping hot water and let simmer for a few minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. If required, cut carrots into small cubes.
Place potatoes in a big bowl, together with peas, carrots, pickled cucumbers and green onion.
Mix together mayo with soy yoghurt and season with salt & pepper.
Add mayo dressing to the salad and toss gently to mix.
Finally season once more with salt and lemon juice and let marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour.
For the olivieh salad or rather the needed mayonnaise you could either try the recipe below or buy vegan mayo online or at most grocery stores nowadays. If you make it yourself, you should consider adding a dash of black salt (kala namak). It smells and tastes pretty sulfury and therefore really reminds one to cooked eggs.
Btw I have to admit that I didn’t come up with the (genius!) idea of making mayonnaise with potatoes. I got inspired by this recipe and changed it just slightly to my liking.
This "mayo" isn't only egg free but also oil free. It also happens to be ready in less than five minutes, if the potatoes are cooked already.
- 1/2 cup potatoes, cooked (about 150 g/ 5 oz)
- 2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt (1 g)
- 1/4 tsp sugar (I use coconut sugar) (1 g)
- 1 dash black salt (kala namak) (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix until creamy.
If necessary, add a little bit of water until you end up with your preferred consistency.
- If you make it yourself you should consider adding a dash of black salt (kala namak). It smells and tastes pretty sulfury and therefore really reminds one to cooked eggs.
Btw those radishes that you see in the pictures were garden-fresh and therefore added to the dish spontaneously. Even though radishes aren’t provided in the recipe, they turned out to be a great addition to the salad.
Another great alternative to pasta salad would be this rice salad. Not only is this a great side at any BBQ but it can actually be eaten on its own. The rice makes it very filling and the vegetables make it fresh and crisp. It’s one of those salads, that I can’t stop eating, even when I’m full already. But hey, that’s not even a big deal with these nutritious ingredients!
This rice salad is a great alternative to pasta salads. Owing to the vegetables it's crisply fresh, yet at the same time very satisfying due to the rice.
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 150 g frozen peas (about 1 cup)
- 140 g corn (1/2 can/ jar)
- 6 romana tomatoes, cubed
- 1/2 cucumber, cubed
- 1-2 chili peppers, minced finely to taste
- 1/2 avocado, cubed
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar/ white wine vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp maple sirup
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash black pepper
- lemon slices
- avocado slices
Add 6 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. In a colander rinse rice with cold water for about 30 seconds before adding it to the pot. Stir once, then let it cook without a lid for 30 minutes.
Drain in a colander, then add back to the pot (without the water). With a lid let steep for 10 minutes.
Dash peas with piping hot water and let simmer for a few minutes.
Drain and add to the rice, together with the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, chili and avocado.
Mix all the dressing ingredients together, add to the rice salad and toss well. Optionally serve with parsley, lemon and avocado slices.
I hope you love the recipe – please let me know in the comment section below! Share your remakes on my Facebook page or on Instagram, using the hashtag #minamadefood and be sure to tag me (@thisisminamade) so that I can see your creations!
Thank you, Mina – the Olivieh Salad was wonderful! I served it on a platter, garnished with pickles, carrots, and black olives. Followed the recipe exactly with the small addition of 2 tsp Dijon mustard. We served it inside pitas and on bagels. The kids said, “Papa, why didn’t you make more of it?”.