Strawberry & Baby Spinach Salad

This is another pretty looking, common salad which is nice to have while strawberries are still in season.


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Shirazi Salad with everything

What is renown among Iranians everywhere as “salad-e Shirazi” is, in fact, a common and popular green salad everywhere in Iran.  It is simply considered more authentic when made by a Shirazi or consumed in Shiraz.

It is refreshing, tasty and goes with almost all types of Iranian dish, especially with mixed-rice verities, such as cabbage-mixed polow.

Ingredients: It only takes three vegetables to make it: Read the rest of this entry »

Iced cantaloupe & rosewater

For the past couple of days, here in Montreal, we have had a record breaking heat wave, feeling like 40 C with humidex.  The wave brought back the memory of a refreshing iced desert I used to have back home in Shiraz, Iran, called “faloodeh taalebi”. I made iced cantaloupe after so many years and God knows it was all I needed to beat the heat!  See how quick and hassle free it is:

All you need is one plump sweet cantaloupe. Cut it in half and spoon out the seeds. Cut each half in two lengthwise slices, then with the sharp knife cut across the base to separate the hard skin. In a nice bowl, coarsely grate slices, and don’t mind the juice produced in the bowl!  Add one tbsp. rose water (optional). Some people add half tbsp. sugar, especially if the cantaloupe was not sweet enough. I personally prefer the mild and natural sweet and do not add sugar. Mix and place the bowl in freezer for 1 hour (at least), or until it is fairly solid on he top.  Spoon it as you would with ice cream. No cooking, no oven dessert in this heat! This is a perfect cool summer dessert and I have more beat-the-heat suggestions upcoming.

Jeweled yogurt mix

A few years ago, sometime in June-July, I was hosting my oldest buddy girlfriend for a month, seeing her after some ten years!  That was the happiest reunion ever as we both felt we still had SO much in common!

Catching up with each other’s lives, plus doing stuff together (from gardening to shopping, to driving around) would not leave us too much time to cook elaborate foods every single day, although we did constantly feel hungry and eat! This nutritious, delicious yogurt-based cold soup was my friend’s solution (and ‘invention’, mind you) for the evenings that we felt too worn out to cook and too creative and energetic to go with a canned, delivered or fast food –  a quick and refreshing fix indeed!

Ingredients (for 2):  Plain yogurt (2% fat) 400 grams. Flat water, half a cup or about 150 ml. Cucumbers, 2 medium, peeled and grated. Onion (optional), ½ small, peeled and grated. Dried seedless raisin, rinsed, 3 tbsp. Dried walnuts, rinsed and chopped, 3 tbsp.  (always good to soak walnuts, change water a few times before using them for this or any other recipe). Powdered dried mint, ½ tbsp. Fresh tarragon (or if you don’t have access to it, any scented herb of your choice), washed and coarsely chopped, a fistful. A few fresh mint and basil leaves. Dried rose flower, a pinch. Salt and black pepper, to taste.  For variations you would need: one large Pitta bread, cut in small pieces and mildly toasted. A few ice cubes.   Read the rest of this entry »