November 09, 2010

Zeytoon Parvardeh-Persian Olive, Pomegranate and Walnut Salad

Persian Olive, Pomegranate and Walnut Dip

This is a tasty side dish made with green olives, pomegranate seeds and walnuts combined and marinated with pomegranate molasses, fresh herbs and garlic. زیتون پرورده Zeytoon Parvardeh is a well-liked appetizer from the north western region of Gilan province. The authentic zeytoon parvardeh is prepared with aromatic fresh herbs from the region. However, I've learned that I can substitute fresh or dried mint instead. I love the combination of  these ingredients coming together so wonderfully in one dish with all their different flavors and textures, making this a unique and quite delectable appetizer. I've been wanting to write about zeytoon parvardeh for the past several months, ever since I got the recipe from a very dear Rashti friend of mine, Monir khanoum. However, since pomegranates weren't in season at the time, I've waited until now since pomegranate season is in full bloom!

I had posted my first Gilani recipe for Mirza Ghasemi a while ago and I am so glad to write another recipe from that beautiful region. Many of my childhood summer vacations were spent by the northern Caspian Sea, escaping the southern heat and enjoying the cooler northern weather with its beautiful beaches and scenery.

Zeytoon Parvardeh

 Serves 4-6

1 pound firm green olives, pitted
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
5-7 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
A handful of fresh mint, chopped or 1-2 tablespoons, dried
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds *optional

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine olives, minced garlic, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour in the syrup and the olive oil. Add fresh mint and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve it at room temperature or cold.



  1. all my favourite things- garlic, olives, pomegranates, pomegranate molasses and walnuts. love it, Azita Joon. x shayma

  2. This look so good Azita. Will definitely making it often.

  3. Great recipe. Can't wait to try it for lunch. Thanks for posting.

  4. wow this looks wonderful and what a stunning place

  5. I am a big fan of green olives. This looks like a wonderful salad. We have a similar one with fresh herbs minus pomegrenate seeds and walnut, which we have at breakfast. My parents have brought green olives from our yard and I can try this with them.

  6. Azita, lovely the ingredients in it and the color is so pretty with the pomegranate in it :-)

  7. Stunning salad. Lovely work, Azita; I will definitely be making this soon.

  8. What a delicious and unique sounding dish, I think I can safely say I've never had anything like it, but certainly want to try.

    This area of Iran that you've introduced us to, looks just amazing.

  9. I love Persian food. I can't wait to try some thanks.

  10. I can totally see this at some fancy American farm to table type of restaurant. So many of our foods are now trendy and I can see this showing up on some fancy chef's menu and being hailed as brilliant :-)

  11. Azita joon - i love how the colours are spilling out in the photos. so pretty! my friend's mum is from Gilan- she gave me some cooking lessons yest- this dish was on her list. i love yours- her version was slightly different, she made it into a paste (it looked like cement, but tasted heavenly!)- then added the olives- both versions - yours and hers- really beautiful! i love food from Gilan. hope the new year is going well. xo shayma

  12. salam
    I love it.I make it sometimes,my family & their Canadian friends love it very ingredients are slightly different.I use also onion juice , lemon Joice & coriander(no mint).

  13. @Anonymous, Salam, your version sounds wonderful. Next time I'm going to use coriander instead of mint! Thanks for visiting.
    Best wishes,

  14. What's the best thing to do in the months when there aren't pomegranate seeds available?

  15. Anonymous, you can make zeytoon parvardeh without any pomegranate seeds.

  16. Thank you so much! Im from Rasht(guilan) and this pickle is my favorite. In fact there is the original and traditional instruction that we use to make 'Zaytoon parvardeh' and i like to share it with you.
    The instruction:
    "Olive > Zaytoon"
    "Sour pomegranate juice > rob ya aabe anaar torsh"
    "Chochagh worn > kind of vegetables that can be found in Rasht or Anzali ..."
    "Garlic worn > sir saaeedeh shodeh"
    "salt and pepper > Namak va Felfel"
    Hope u enjoy it either!

  17. Replies
    1. Azita,
      I visit your website sporadically, and I need to emphasize that your weblog inspires me a lot.

      By the way, I forgot to mention walnuts and the Golpar in the recipe. Thereby, as 'Bachcheh Rasht' considered them in his/her quote, I acknowledge that I left those two important ingredients in my comment. ;)

      Bests to you Azita joon.

  18. salam,
    bist sale pish, dar fooman khordam va hanouz mazze ash dar dahanam ast.


  19. Can you make this when pomegranate is in season an freeze them for later consumption?

    1. You don't really need pomegranate seeds for this recipe. It was added just as a personal touch.

  20. Hello Azita,
    I just found your site and am so excited to start trying my hand at your recipes! I think I will start with this one! My husband loves pomegranates! I love olives! It is a win-win!

  21. Sholeh from Australia; I made it with my lil alternations
    put them all in food processor, yum gr8 deep many thnx.

  22. Just simply AWESOME! I had been searching for Persian cuisine until i found your blog and i m on cloud seven these days. Although red chilies are an integral part of the Pakistani and Indian cuisine but we absolutely enjoy the Persian recipes for the individual flavor of the ingredients that are used in the khorestes and other ash. The chili flavor in our cuisine is a bit more over powering. Thanks a lot and keep it up Azita and yes i was lucky enough to get hold of the other wonderful links that you have mentioned here :)
    Meraj Bano

    1. Meraj Bano, Thank you very much for your comment and kind words.

  23. I just made this salad , I love it sooooooo good, thanks alot

  24. In an authentic Rashti Zaytoon Parvardeh, the pomegranate is sour, and it's pureed along with Walnut. And they use a kind of vegetable called Choochagh - It's found wild in the fields, and only in Gilan Province. Beside Walnut, and Garlic, they also add Golpar to it.

    Bachcheh Rasht