I’m excited to be featured in a beautiful new digital magazine called The Gentle Kitchen, in a story about Persian cooking that features saffron, dried limes, and other fragrant Persian spices.
The magazine is focused on vegan cooking, but with a broad and surprising reach. The inaugural issue covers Persian food, artisanal cooking oils, and the exotic array of fruits available in India.
The food writer Linnea Covington came to my apartment to interview me for the story. In addition to making her a lunch of Kale Salad with Avocado, Almonds, and Toasted Nori (from Lucid Food), I pulled out every Middle Eastern ingredient that I’ve acquired over the last year and a half of researching The New Persian Kitchen. Linnea tasted dried pomegranate seeds, preserved oranges, and carob syrup, along with super sour torshi pickled vegetables and a glass of Persian Rose Tea made by my friend Nini at Tay Tea. I’m glad Linnea came over, because otherwise I may never have opened all of those jars, bags, and tins of things that were too obscure to include in the cookbook.
Best of all, I got to show off my collection of Persian saffron, brought back to me from Iran by friends and family. One plastic disc of saffron was brought to me by my Uncle Hadi, my dad’s oldest brother and a gem of a man. My uncle died not long after returning to Teheran from that visit to the United States, and I confess that I never want to finish up the saffron he brought me. It’s nice to have an occasion to dust it off, and treasure the memories that it brings to life.
Big thanks to Linnea, and good luck to this promising new magazine. I wish you a peaceful and tasty holiday season.
Photos of dried limes and torshi pickle by Linnea Covington.