Next week marks the vernal equinox, when Persians the world over celebrate Norooz, the ancient Zoroastrian holiday that marks the New Year. On Sunday 18, join me at Jimmy’s No 43 in the East Village for a traditional, locally sourced Norooz feast. I’m really excited about this event, as it’s a chance to share a bit of my heritage, and a preview of my Persian cookbook coming out next spring.
Norooz is celebrated on the day of the spring equinox. It’s a time for fresh starts, mending misunderstandings, and celebrating life! I did an interview with Jimmy’s No. 43 on the meaning of Norooz, you can read it here.
I’m teaming up with Chef Jessica Wilson, formerly of Goat Town and A Voce, to make a Norooz meal filled with spring ingredients from the farmer’s market. This is food that goes really well with beer, and if you’ve ever been to Jimmy’s, you know he has a stellar selection of artisan microbrews on tap. Yum!
Sabzi Khordan: Platter of Fresh Herbs, Radishes, and Feta served with Flatbread
Ash-e Reshteh: Noodle soup with Beans, Herbs, and Caramelized Onions
Herb Kuku: Baked Eggs with Herbs, Walnuts, and Dried Rose Petals
Mahi: Stuffed Fish with Tamarind, Parsley, and Coriander
Sabzi Polow: Rice with Saffron and Herbs
Mast-o Musir: Yogurt with Shallots
Faludeh: Persian Sorbet with Rhubarb, Rosewater, Rice Noodles, and Pistachios
Yesterday, I went to a preview of the Met’s new exhibit, Byzantium and Islam, Age of Transition. Aside from being an astute visual document of how artistic expression changed under Islam, the exhibit also reminds me of the sacredness and constancy of food throughout time. A flask, a bowl, everyday implements for holding drink and food, show how the ritual of gathering together to eat has always been at the heart of community.
Many of the artifacts are from the area of the ancient Persian empire, and I couldn’t help but feel a connection to the timelessness of food, and how it always provides a route to skip over the centuries and connect directly with people from the past. Sharing and enjoying food is one thing we all have in common. In the spirit of this tradition, I hope you can join me on Sunday!
Norooz dinner: Sunday March 18, 6-10 pm, Jimmy’s No 43, 43 East 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd.Tix $25. See event details and buy tix here.