I’ve been wanting to check out this book for quite some time now. Being half Persian, I absolutely adore Persian cuisine and don’t eat it nearly often enough! This book is absolutely beautiful and celebrates traditional Persian dishes with a modern twist.
There are a lot of meat-laden Persian meals, so the author includes notes after those recipes for making them vegetarian-friendly (usually by swapping the meat for mushrooms or tempeh). Modernizations like this and the use of whole grains really makes this book stand out among my other go-to cookbooks.
The first dish I made from this cookbook was this Turkish Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Dip. It was absolutely delicious! It reminded me of a super fresh version of the Muhummara that I’ve been making for several years now.
Fresh tomatoes and a red bell pepper are tossed with oil and roasted together until they get nicely caramelized. The veggies are then blended with a mix of aromatic ingredients to form a smooth dip that’s rich and full of Middle Eastern flavor.
I served this with some pita bread, and it disappeared really quickly!
Turkish Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Dip
The New Persian Kitchen – Louisa Shafia
Makes 2 cups
3 medium to large tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), halved
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Combine the tomatoes and red pepper in a large bowl and drizzle with grapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss well to coat. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet, and roast, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, until tender. Let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the garlic and shallot with the extra-virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses, paprika, and a pinch of salt.
Combine the roasted vegetables, parsley, and marinade in a food processor and pulse several times until mostly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars