Each spring, I look forward to getting fresh salad greens and making tasty salads with chicken based on recipes from my Iranian relatives. While I would hardly call them Persian recipes, the recipes I have come up with certainly have a flair influence from this cuisine. Although it was next to impossible to find many of the ingredients 10 years ago, grocery stores across America have increased the number of products I identify with Iran. Listed below, I have included a few of these spring salad chicken recipes that will make your next meal sizzle.
American-style Persian Olivieh salad recipe
In Iran, there is a salad regularly served for lunch, called Salad-e Olivieh, that is allegedly based on a common Russian dish. Typically, it is served without lettuce. The basic ingredients include lots of mayonnaise (more than American potato salad), hard boiled eggs, shredded chicken, boiled potatoes, carrots, lemon juice, olive oil, green peas, olives, dill pickles, and a small amount of mustard. While I truly enjoy this salad, I found the fat, starch, and salt content to be too high.
Instead of adding a large portion of mayonnaise, I simply add all of the ingredients to a traditional bed of spring salad greens and use one teaspoon of mayo. Although it is easy to get wrapped up in measurements, the general idea is to add the healthier ingredients in larger portions and incorporate the less healthy ones in smaller portions. For picky eaters, the great thing about this salad is that the taste is totally different while still having familiar ingredients.
Simple Persian fruit chicken salad recipe over spring greens
In the Middle East, there is a big focus on adding hot spices to cooked meat stews with fruit. In particular, there is a dish in Persian cuisine that is served over rice called Chicken Fesenjoon or Koresh-e Fesenjan. On days that I want to eat fewer carbohydrates, I take the basic ingredients that go into this dish and serve them over salad greens instead. For example, I make the salad with cooked shredded chicken, raisins, red hot pepper flakes, fresh pomegranate kernels, walnuts, onions, and fresh tomatoes. To make a dressing, I use lime juice, a dash of olive oil, and a little bit of salt. While the traditional cooked Chicken Fesenjoon recipe has other spices, I leave them out for this recipe when I make it as a salad.
Practically American Arab-Iranian chicken spring salad recipe
In America, there are many variations on potato salad recipes. However, few of them are served over the top of spring salad greens. Over the years, when I want to make potato salad a full meal, I rely on a simple food mishmash commonly found in Arab homes in southwest Iran. Typically, yellow curry powder finds its way into many dishes in tantalizing combinations. The next time you make a traditional American dieter’s salad recipe with onions, chicken, vinegar, salt, olive oil, and tomatoes, add a small amount of mayonnaise mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of yellow curry powder. Mix well with salad greens, and you will be surprised at the delicious zip that curry powder adds to your typical boring spring salad.