St. Andrew Armenian Church Ladies Society members in the 1990s

Creative Salads from Cupertino’s 1999 St. Andrew Armenian Church Cookbook


CUPERTINO — The Armenian community in Cupertino, California goes back to mid-1950s when a small social group calling themselves the Armenian Society was organized. The first monthly prayer services commenced in 1960 when Dr. Deacon Shahan Sevhonkian arranged with Rev. Fr. Shahe Altounian of St. Vartan Church in Oakland to conduct prayer services in the hospitality room of a San Jose bank.

The first permanent Ladies Society was established in 1963. Throughout this period monthly church services were conducted by visiting priests. On April 15, 1963, twelve women paid their annual dues of $3 and formed an official Ladies Aid. Margaret Hagopian, Rose Hines, and H. Ronnie Henesian were elected to the offices of Chairlady, Secretary, and Treasurer, respectively. The other members were: Betty Espinoza, Sofia Giragosian, Esquhy Henesian, Anahid Nalvarian, Marion Paparigian, Zabel Solakian, Asdghig Soliman, Rose Tootelian, and Roxie Yeram.

These seasonal salad recipes are contributed by Vera Sarkissian and Kim Henesian. They were included in The New Armenian Kitchen Cookbook published in 1999 by the St. Andrew Armenian Church Ladies Society. Vera, the cookbook chairman, says the cookbook committee included: Nadine American, Mary-Louise Essaian, Arlene Hancock, H. Ronnie Henesian, Florence Janjigian, Lucille Kuzirian, Arlene Narlian-Finley, Lorraine Paul, and Madelaine Tolegian.

“In 1999, our committee spent countless hours working together, testing, and proofing each of the recipes, and created a detailed index to make recipes easier to find. Everyone worked as volunteers in this effort, and all funds earned from the sale of the cookbook were donated for the church charitable projects,” says Vera. She adds, “The corrected cookbook link is only available through me at this time; the Kindle one is available through Kindle at $9.00 but still with problems with ingredient listings.”

The New Armenian Kitchen Cookbook is no longer in print, but note:

For Kindle, go to:

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

OR — to receive a corrected copy of The New Armenian Kitchen Cookbook from Vera Sarkissian, send e-mail

Feta/Chicken Potato Salad

By Veronica Sarkissian


1 1/2 lbs. small (1 1/2″ diameter) thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and drained

3 cups cooked skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1-6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts*

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1-4 oz. jar sliced pimiento, drained

Fresh lettuce leaves or spinach, rinsed and crisped

1/2 cup (about 3 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled

Freshly ground pepper



Bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add potatoes; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced (about 25 minutes). Cool, cut into quarters. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, chicken, artichoke hearts with marinade, pimientos, olives, green onions and lemon juice. Gently fold to mix seasoning; chill at least 15-20 minutes, or up to 4 hours. Arrange lettuce leaves on dinner plates, and divide mixture equally among plates. Sprinkle with cheese; season with pepper as desired.

*Note: The marinade liquid in the artichoke jar serves as the flavorful dressing for this salad. Or you can substitute olive oil and fresh lemon juice.


Serves 4-6.

Mom’s Armenian Potato Salad

By Kim Elise Henesian

Kim Henesian remembers this about her mother H. Ronnie Henesian’s famous potato salad, “I can tell you this dish was served at many family functions through the years, and is one of our favorite salads because it was light and refreshing to eat. It doesn’t include mayonnaise which is typically added to most potato salads. And the inclusion of mint added a special taste to the salad.”


7 or 8 medium russet potatoes, boiled with the skin

1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (or a little more, if you like it tart)

1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced thinly

1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil (or more to taste)

1/4 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

Fine salt and ground pepper



Place thinly sliced onions in a sieve and salt liberally. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2″ rounds. Wash onions under cold water and squeeze dry. In a bowl, alternately layer potatoes, onions, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Pour lemon juice and oil on top and mix carefully. Can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. Toss before serving.


Serves 4-6.


Salad Olivier

By Veronica Sarkissian


4 cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced

1-2 cups deli fresh dill pickles, chopped (if using more tart pickles, use fewer pickles to taste)

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise, to taste

1 medium package frozen baby green peas, rinsed in water, drained

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4-6 large russet potatoes, cooked, peeled, diced

Salt and white pepper



In a large bowl, mix ingredients together reserving 1/2 cup of sour cream for later use. Mix well, taste and adjust seasonings. Mound salad onto a serving platter smoothing with the back of a spoon. “Frost” with the remaining sour cream and decorate with black or green olives.


Serves 4-6.

For donations, contact:


11370 S. Stelling Rd.

Cupertino, CA 95014

Phone: (408) 257-6743


Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: