Persian

Menu for the week of Jan 26 (Mediterranean)

Sat: Brick Chicken [make extra for grain bowls] w/ green salad and Yogurt Dips
Make Kofta (Mediterranean Meatballs)
Sun: Persian Herb and Leek Frittata Recipe w/ green salad, Mujadara Recipe
Mon: Shrimp Saganaki w/ green veg
Tue: Kofta (Mediterranean Meatballs) w/ pita, yogurt sauce, green veg
Wed: One-Skillet Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Chickpeas Recipe pluck parsley, make dressing?
Thus: Leftover chicken w/ Moroccan Carrot Salad
Fri: Eat all the leftovers (shrimp, frittata, carrot salad, green beans)

Lamb Shawarma

We took a lamb recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook and adapted it with a cooking technique from Cook's Illustrated to create a perfectly tender, medium-rare lamb roast with shawarma spices.

Lamb Shawarma
4.5
Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs

This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe was amazing. The balance of the sweet currants with the curry-spiced chickpeas was surprising and delightful and the fried onions sealed the deal. Yes, it's got a lot of components, but it is totally worth it. I have halved the proportions to serve 8 as a side or 4 as a main.

Basmati with Wild Rice
5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Fesenjoon (Walnut Pomegranate Stew)

I've had versions of this dish in various restaurants, but never attempted it at home before. I found a lot of recipes online and cobbled together a best of breed. This recipe isn't difficult, but it does take about 4 hours from start to finish.

Walnut stew
2
Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

Basmati Rice Salad

Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit

Dressing
1 small shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Salad
2 cups cooked basmati rice, cooled
2 cups bite-size pieces assorted vegetables (such as radishes, tomatoes, peas, summer squash) or carrot ribbons
3/4 cup torn mixed leafy greens, sprouts, and herbs

Rice Salad
2.5
Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Middle Eastern Salad

I am a big fan of any number of "middle eastern salads" - lettuce-less salads which go by different names (with slightly different twists) in a variety of middle eastern and mediterranean cuisines. Yes, there is a difference between a fattoush salad and a shirazi salad, but frankly, I find that what I want is the same basic recipe with a few optional modifications, depending on how the dish will fit into the week's menu.

The basic vegetable components of the salad are:
Diced tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes)

Fattoush salad with fried chickpeas
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Tah Chin (Persian Rice Casserole)

When I was in high school, I dated a Persian (Iranian) guy for a few months. I don't remember much about our relationship, but I do remember his mother's cooking! After we'd been dating for while, his family invited mine over for a Friday night dinner. All I remember is a chicken/rice/currant/nut casserole that was absolutely delicious. This recipe is my attempt to recreate the dish from my memory (and with the help of several websites). I must admit, its hard to get this dish right. Perhaps one day, I'll make a more perfect one that will take a prettier picture.

Tah Chin
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Jeweled Rice

Growing up, I was exposed to much delicious Persian food (owing to the large Iranian population in LA). One of my favorite dishes is Zereshk Polo - basmati rice with barberries and sometimes other dried fruits and nuts. I started with zereshk polo and added other ingredients commonly found in jeweled rice, ending up in a hybrid recipe of sorts.

Adapted from this recipe. Makes enough rice to serve 4.

Zeresk Polo
3.5
Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Apricot Couscous

1 cup couscous
1 small red onion, small dice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, warm
1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup whole almonds toasted, coarsely chopped
2 scallions green parts only
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped plus leaves for garnish
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of lemon zest
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Apricot couscous
3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Yogurt Dips

I never met a yogurt dip I didn't like. Seriously. If there's ever one on a menu, I order it. I will slather it on everything, especially middle eastern and mediterranean foods.

Instead of proliferating pages and pages of yogurt dip recipes, I've decided to collect them all here. In most cases, the dips will be better on the second day once the flavors have had a chance to marry.

Shallot Yogurt Sauce/Dip
4
Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

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