Celery Root, Green Apple and Pistachio Salad

This is an extremely easy, tasty and summery salad with lots of room for creativity! I serve this as a side when I have a small party: I also enjoy having it on hot summer days as a light lunch. 

Ingredients (serving 3-4 for a salad or side)

  • ½ of a medium size celery root, peeled, thinly sliced and cut Julienne style
  • 1 medium green apple, thinly sliced and Julienne (do not peel just wash thoroughly)
  • 1 tbsp. natural honey
  • 1 medium lemon, squeezed
  • 1 tbsp. coarsely ground pistachio
  • A few Pansy from your garden, if you have some. If not, use other edible flowers or parsley, or dills.  This is just for garnish and for extra touch of summer look.


Method:

In a regular bowl, toss the celery root and apple with half the lemon juice right away to prevent them from going yellowish.

Now whisk together honey and the rest of the lemon juice and toss with the salad.

Transfer salad to the serving bowl.  Sprinkle with ground pistachio.

Decorate with your flower or herbs and serve immediately.

Enjoy!   


Loaf cake, with raisins and walnuts

A classic loaf cake is by far my favorite type of cake nice for breakfast, afternoon tea and easy to bake. I realize there are so many varieties out there but this one – with raisins and walnuts – is an extremely good combination and my recipe here makes a light and fluffy cake. I have tried a gluten-free version of this cake by replacing the regular flour with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour. The cake did not get as fluffy but everything else was just about perfect! 

Ingredients Read the rest of this entry »


Fesenjoon Stew

I cannot believe I have not included khoresh fesenjoon خورشت فسنجون in my Iranian stews yet!  This traditional stew, made primarily with ground walnuts and pomegranate paste or molasses, with a sweet-sour taste, deep aroma and rich flavor is quite unique among other Iranian stews and is regarded a fancy dish served at special occasions and for special guests.

A specialty of Northern Iran, fesenjoon is traditionally cooked using duck meat. Nowadays people use chicken breast or tights instead. Or for a vegan version simply skip the meat step and still get a rich and flavorful stew.  There are certainly more than one method in making a good fesenjoon, but below is just one of them! Read the rest of this entry »


Baghlava for Norooz

Once again Norooz, “new day”, spring, the Persian New Year is upon us; so is the earth’s rejuvenation and the hope! Hope for more sun, more warmth, more kindness, more peace – hope for better days.  It is that time of the year we prepare for our new year by doing a lot of things including baking delicacies for our new year sofreh.

This year I decided to try my hands on a rather complicated homemade sweet, called baghlava, باقلوا in Persian – an extremely delicious walnut-almond rich layers brought together by fragrant honey-rosewater syrup.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spicy Pan Kebab, kabab tabeh کباب تابه 

Living in the minus double digits for a few months by this time of the year, I miss so many things including my charcoal burning barbecue and all the goodies that get roasted and cooked on it during the summer evenings in company of good friends and lots of cool drinks!  I specially miss our kebab making rituals around it although to tell the truth my family eats red meat now, only once in two weeks or so.

If, like me, you crave kebab koobideh, and are ready to settle for a pot version of it, this post is for you.  The basic idea is the same as in original koobideh, only we spread the big meatball instead of dividing it into small balls and then skewering them. This means you will not need to worry about kebab holding on to the skewers while being roasted which means, in turn, we can play around with the ingredients.  You will note that in my new recipe for Pan kebab koobideh below, I have added lots of spices in addition to the grated tomatoes and garlic to the ground beef.  I believe with this kebab what lacks in ambiance, it definitely makes up in the taste! Read the rest of this entry »


Vase ideas10

The much needed winter blooms!


Pomegranate soup, Aash-e anar, for Yalda

Once again Yalda, one of Iranian’s much loved and cherished celestial moments and rituals is round the corner. We celebrate Yalda on winter solstice on Dec. 20th  as the longest and darkest night of the year by getting together, reciting poetry and feasting over a colorful spread of dried fruits and nuts, aajil, specific fruits namely pomegranate, persimmon and watermelon, cozy heartwarming dishes and lots of light, hope and energy to get through the long but increasingly brighter winter ahead. See my precious posts for Yalda night here and here.

The Persian “Pomegranate Soup” or ash-e anar آش انار, will forever resonate with me the excellent culinary fiction by the same name written by Marsha Mehran, an eloquent Iranian-Irish author who passed too soon but whose novels depicted Persian cuisine enchanting as a fairy-tale full of texture, fragrance and mystery always ready to haut, charm and welcome those unfamiliar with it. Read the rest of this entry »