Sunday, May 17, 2009
Ultimate Potluck Salad- Salad-e Olivieh
Today we are going to a potluck at Christina's Iranian aunt's house, so I wanted to try making a Persian salad. I had a few recipes to go off of, but mostly I had to keep asking Christina to extract flavors from her memory (I have never actually had this salad before).
People say that civilization began with Persian culture, after reading through a few different recipes for salad-e olivieh I believe it. A combination of potato, chicken and egg salad with fresh vegetables and herbs, this salad is the ultimate in backyard picnic and potluck decadence.
I made the maYOnnaise (I have a hard time remembering to pronounce the yo..might be an east coast thing) from scratch. I used a mini cuisinart blender to do it, which made things really easy.
For the mayo:
use 4 egg yolks (really get the whites out, I think they ruin the flavor)
slooooowly (1 tsp at a time) drizzle in 2-3 cups of sunflower oil or naughty olive oil (stay away from the virgin because it may cause separation down the line)
When you have a nice stiff mixture, add some lemon juice (squeeze), salt (pinch), mustard powder (1 tsp)
This is your base. Now have some fun. Add spices, add vinegar, add tarragon, add garlic, add whatever you think might be interesting. (I did a splash of cayenne and some ume plum vinegar..which is a salty vinegar that I absolutely adore).
For the salad:
Start by dicing 2 large onions. In shallow wide pot or frying pan add a few Tbsp oil and the onions. add 1 3-4 lb frying chicken (cut up, skin on) and some salt. Fry until color changes, then add 1 diced carrot, 1 cup water and some salt. Allow the chicken to cook uncovered for about 40 min to an hour on medium heat (until it is cooked through).
Now cut up some small dutch potatoes, or yukon gold, or red potatoes or fingerlings or new potatoes..whatever you like, but not baking potatoes..use salad potatoes! add them to hot water and bring to a boil. allow potatoes to cook for ~20 min.
Now start the eggs. hard boil 3 eggs.. like we did yesterday. bring water to a boil with eggs in it, allow to boil for 1 min then turn the water off and allow to sit for 20 min with the cover off, or 8-10 min with the cover on.
While everything is cooking, peel and dice 2 carrots, wash and dice some fresh parsley and some green onions or leeks, and two large handfuls of dill pickles.
To assemble. dice up chicken, squeeze fresh lime over the top. Mix in potatoes. add a frozen package of peas (the temperatures will even out) mash up eggs in a separate bowl, then add them. add the diced pickles, carrots, green onions and parsley. Mix in the mayonnaise, add salt and pepper to taste!
Chill overnight.. or for a few hours.
Christina's vote: "wonderful salad. conjures memories of persian gatherings, triple kisses, and offending people with my bad tarof"