I was totally inspired by the beautiful, seasonal meals found in the cookbook Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia. Her book is inspiring and insightful, and these are just a few of the yummy recipes featured within. I’ve adapted the recipes slightly for her Persian New Year’s Soup and Green Rice (which, in actuality, is yellow from the saffron), both of which are found in Lucid Food. Her new Persian cookbook will be out in April 2013. Check out her beautiful website and books and be inspired too!
Green rice is a traditional Persian dish made with dried fruits, nuts, and lots of fresh herbs.
2 cups Basmati rice
3 cups filtered water
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 Tablespoons warm water
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (green part removed), chopped
½ cup minced red onion
2 teaspoons fresh lime zest
1 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup minced fresh dill
1 cup raisins or currants
1 cup shelled, chopped, and toasted pistachios or walnuts
- Rinse rice in cool water until water runs clear. Set rice aside.
- In a large stockpot, season 3 cups water with salt and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl, pour 2 Tablespoons of warm water over saffron. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and onions and sauté for five minutes. Add rice, saffron/water mixture, and lime zest and stir to coat. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add boiling water to rice. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Let rice cool five minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, dill, raisins and nuts and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Yields: 4-6 Servings
Persian New Year’s Soup
Louisa notes that this soup is traditionally served for Norooz, the Persian New Year, which is observed during the Spring Equinox.
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups diced onion
½ cup diced celery
8 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup dried lentils
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon each: ground turmeric, celery salt, ground coriander and red chili flakes
6 ounces udon or linguine noodles, torn into thirds
1 (15-ounce can) fava beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce can) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups chopped fresh kale
½ cup fresh cilantro, minced
½ cup fresh parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh dill, minced
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon, for garnish
Yogurt, for garnish
- In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Sauté until browned and soft.
- Add in broth, lentils, garlic, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and spices. Cover, and simmer on medium heat until lentils are soft.
- Add noodles and beans and simmer until noodles are soft. Add kale and fresh herbs and cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Divide soup between 6 bowls and add a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of yogurt. Cheers to the New Year!
Yield: 8-10 Servings