By Louisa Shafia
Ten Speed Press, $24.99
Just in time for summer, this colorful gem of a book serves up vibrant recipes perfect for the season. In addition to lamb, chicken, and fish kebabs for the grill, you’ll find simple recipes for a refreshing Cucumber and Watermelon Salad and Persian-style Grilled Corn that’s so perfectly smoky, salty, and sweet that it needs no butter. Through these recipes and many others, Shafia explores her Iranian heritage and celebrates traditional ingredients like pomegranates, pistachios, rose water, and saffron while also incorporating her own fresh and accessible approach. Even an utter kitchen novice could prepare the impressive Fresh Herb Platter, a heady mosaic of fragrant herbs, nuts, radishes, scallions, and feta cheese that is the centerpiece of most Persian meals. And everyone from beginners to advanced cooks will appreciate Shafi a’s thoughtfully written recipes sprinkled with enlightening notes and tips that deliver delectable results.
Saffron Rice (page 123) Persians have elevated the preparation of rice to an art form, using long-grain rice and a multistep process (soak, rinse, parboil, steam) to attain the lightest and fluffiest rice ever. The results are well worth the effort.
Seared Chicken with Peaches (page 112) This beguiling combination of sweet peaches and seared chicken seasoned with turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron is truly wonderful. Serve with plenty of rice to soak up the flavorful sauce.
|Date-and-Walnut-Filled Cookies (Koloocheh)||Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade (Kebab-e Torsh)||Jeweled Brown Basmati Rice and Quinoa (Morassa Polo)|
Photos by Sara Remington © 2013