Shrimp-beans-quinoa with nasturtium

I am making the most of our short summer here in Montreal , making good use of my edible flowers grown in my beloved patio. Here is an idea if you fancy nasturtium in your shrimp dish as a beautiful summer side dish.

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a side dish)

  •  350 gr. shrimps, peeled, deveined and briefly boiled
  • 1 cup quinoa (white or mixed – your choice)
  • ½ cup black beans, cooked with a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1tbsp. fresh chives or garlic greens, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lime or lemon to be cut for garnish
  • A few nasturtiums or any other edible flower you might have around your yard or balcony
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • Salt, black pepper, and fresh lemon or lime juice as required

Method:

Rinse quinoa in small pot. Add equal part (1 cup) water and a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp. cooking oil and cook over medium heat with closed lid until it is cooked through but not mashed.  Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Mix the cooked quinoa with chopped parsley.  

In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. cooking oil and sauté the chopped onions.  Once translucent, add chopped garlic and fry for 1 more minutes.  Add shrimps and continue frying for a few minutes. Turn the heat off. Toss in black beans and mix well then transfer to the serving dish on top of the quinoa. Use a fork to gently stir and mix the content. It’s okay if the major bulk of quinoa stays underneath.  

Mix together salt, pepper and 1-2 tbsp. lime juice and season the dish. Finally garnish with lime cuts, chives and your freshly picked flower and share with loved ones!  Enjoy!

 

 

 


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) Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


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 »


Tahchin, Persian upside down yogurt-saffron rice with chicken

Tahchin ته‌چین is a traditional Persian dish which is very unique in its taste and texture – a dense dish flavored with yogurt, saffron and thick yogurt and typically layered with chicken chunks.  The delicious thick golden rice crust (tahdig) formed at the bottom and around the cooked tahchin is its shining feature.

An original tahchin is stem-cooked in a pot (a non-stick one in this case) over gas or electric stove just like any other Persian mix rice; however since the amount of liquid in the rice makes its cooking behaviour a bit different and complicated, a lot of recipes advise you to “bake” the dish instead using Pyrex dishes in the oven. Well, I never went with baking style and after many years of trying and failing the traditional pot style, last summer I finally succeeded in getting it right – thanks to my beloved auntie visiting form my old hometown Shiraz. Read the rest of this entry »