I’m quite ashamed to say that this is the first salad to hit the blog…and also the first Persian plate too. But I’m happy to say that it includes a lot of my favourite things to eat in the whole world…including dill.

To me, this salad has it all – meat, eggs, potatoes, olives, gherkins, mayonnaise and a generous helping of one of my herbs of choice. The last time I ate dill, it was served on a smoked salmon starter, and that was some time ago. Thus, I always tend to associate it with fish. How wrong was I…it’s a more than worthy accompaniment to chicken.

This dish was plucked from our current ‘seasonal’ best read, Steven Raichlen’s ‘Barbecue! Bible’ once again. The book just gets better and better, as we keep stumbling upon and sampling it’s delectable recipes. Any grill and/or barbecue enthusiast should endeavour to own it. The full ingredients list and cooking method can be found there.

To make this tasty salad (serves two generously as a main meal) you will need:
– Two cups of pre-grilled and cooled chicken breast (finely diced to quarter of an inch pieces)
– One pound of salad/new potatoes (washed/scrubbed)
– Two large eggs
– Three tablespoons of pickles/gherkins (finely chopped)
– Two medium sized pieces of celery (finely diced – we omitted this)
– One tablespoon of pitted green olives (chopped)
– Six tablespoons of mayonnaise
– Two tablespoons of fresh dill (chopped, plus sprigs to garnish)
– Half a round lettuce (we used a couple of handfuls of home grown leaves)
– Two medium sized tomatoes (thinly sliced for serving)
– Twelve pitted black olives (to garnish)
– Salt and black pepper

– Place the potatoes and eggs in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the eggs are hard boiled (approximately eleven minutes or so, the potatoes may need longer).
– Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain again well.
– Cut the potatoes into small chunks and place in a large bowl. Add the cooked and cooled chicken, pickles/gherkins, celery, green olives, mayonnaise and chopped dill. Mix together gently but thoroughly.
– Season to taste.
– Shell the eggs and cut into quarter of an inch chunks, then add to the bowl.
– To serve, line the plates with the lettuce leaves and arrange the tomato slices around the edge (slightly overlapping).
– Spoon the salad into the middle and garnish with the black olives and dill sprigs.

The dill really made this meal for me (that and tucking into our home grown lettuce leaves for the first time!) – the potency worked very well against all of the other ingredients, without overpowering them in any way. I also enjoyed the fresh, juiciness of the sliced tomato, in contrast to the richness of the salad itself. It was a hugely flavoursome and satisfying dinner. I shall hopefully be eating it again in the very near future, with summer approaching. Happy ‘salad’ days indeed.