Olive-Walnut-Pomegranate Medley (Zeytun Perverde)

The recipe for zeytun perverde,  a delectable Persian appetizer made of green olives, walnuts, and pomegranate arils, comes from my dear friend Nahid’s mom, aunt Khedije, an exceptional cook of both Azerbaijani and Persian dishes (she is an Azeri living in Iran). Zeytun perverde originates in the North of Iran.

If pomegranate is not available where you are, or if it is out of season, do not fear, for aunt Khedije suggests a great substitution  – dried cranberries.

Try this medley with wedges of lavash flatbread, or scooped onto crackers or as is.


Note: you can play with the amount of ingredients and adjust them to your liking.

1 cup walnuts
4 cups pitted green olives, sliced
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup pomegranate arils (variation: dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons (adjust to  taste) red wine vinegar or apple cider
2 tablespoons (adjust to taste) pomegranate paste (narsharab, available in Middle Eastern markets)
about 3 tablespoons olive oil (adjust to taste)

Smash the walnuts with the back of a large knife (chef’s knife works great), then chop coarsely (smashing should get their oils going). In a mixing bowl, combine the olives, onion, walnuts, pomegranate arils. Add the vinegar, pomegranate paste, and olive oil. Toss to combine. Pack into a jar and store in the refrigerator.


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  1. I have been reading a lot about Persian food and traditions for the past several months and I even met a friend through my blog came to Barbados and she is part Iranian and is from Northern Iran also.

    Farida, this is one of the many, many reasons I love your blog, it opens my world to many things. Thank you for showing your food culture.

  2. OMG, I love this combination of flavors… I’m running to my greengrocer’s to get me a pomegranate! Right now!

  3. What a wonderful assortment of colours and tastes!

  4. OH WOW!!! This is a MUST TRY!!!!!! I love everything Persian!!!
    have a great weekend!!!

    p.s. by the way, which program as you using for this blog?! Ive been trying to get photos next to my posts for ages…have no clue!!!

  5. What a beautiful and colorful dish! Fantastic!



  6. It looks like an interesting combination. I’ve never tried this and would love to. Thanks for sharing this Persian appetizer!

  7. The flavors sound so good!

  8. What a colorful dish, thanks for sharing !

  9. This looks so good. And its pomegarnate season here. What could I substitute for the olives?

  10. I would never have thought of olives and pomegranate arils would go together – but this sounds wonderful. So many of my favourite things in one bowl!

  11. farida! congrats on this post being today’s top 9 on Foodbuzz 🙂 it’s such a beautiful dish. I must get myself some pomegrenate. It’s so exotic and i bet this is totally delicious with olives.

  12. Farida

    I welcomed this recipe because I am a big (I mean BIG) fan of green olives; Persian cuisine fascinates me and thanks for sharing this original dish, reflecting the genius of Persian cuisine in mixing sweet and sour seamlessly.

  13. A gorgeous salad, healthy and it would brighten the table for sure!

  14. Wow, this sure looks like a great spread to lavash…the combination of ingredients sounds delicious 🙂

  15. Wow, this sounds so interesting! Very beautiful and colorful!


  17. APARNA: Sadly there is really no substitution for the olives in this particular recipe, because olive is the essence of this appetizer.

  18. This combination of flavors leaves me breathless! What an amazing recipe! P.S. I received C. Roden’s “Arabesque:A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, & Lebanon,” also her “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, ” and the Malouf’s “Artichokes to Za’atar for xmas and I’m delirious with visions of pomegranates and olives!

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