Posted in Restaurant Hopping

Salad Oliveyeh: A Change from the Usual Mokhalafat



Salad Oliveyeh and Warm Pita


Mokhalafat is the generic term in Farsi for the things that accompany a meal and usually refers to side dishes and such accompaniments as breads and/or beverages.  The term also stretches to include torshi (vegetables pickled in a blend of vinegar, cumin, and nigella seed), sabzi (fresh herbs such as tarragon, mint, and basil), and what are collectively referred to as peshgahza – dips and spreads.

Most of the time, particularly in restaurants specializing in either Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine, the only peshgahza on offer are  tzatsiki (cucumber and yogurt dip; referred to as mast o’khiar at Persian restaurants though the same name is used for a cold yogurt, cumin, and cucumber soup), baba ganoush, or the more common hummus.  Believe me, it can get quite tedious at times.

At such times, I order the salad oliveyeh at Persia Grill to break the boredom.  Think potato salad: only, this has been pureed and seasoned with olive oil, fresh lemon, and a generous sprinkle of ground red pepper.  The seasonings and the texture are what sets this dip apart from conventional potato salad and tastes fantastic on warm pita quarters sprinkled with minced fresh parsley.  More than that, the gentle, somewhat familiar flavors are a good way to introduce inexperienced palates to the intricacies of Persian food.



Green Lemonade


And, for some odd reason, salad oliveyeh goes well with PG’s green lemonade or a fresh limeade if you’re having it as either a light lunch or an afternoon nosh.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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