Salad Shirazi

Salad Shirazi is a simple and bright Persian salad that’s loaded with dried mint, lemon juice and olive oil. The dried mint is what truly distinguishes this salad. It’s the perfect side dish as it’s citrusy mild flavoured dressing complements the main course without becoming too filling.

Shirazi means from Shiraz, which is a beautiful city in Iran. This is the salad I grew up with and my mom always made sure to serve it on dinner parties. It’s great and so easy to make when you are making it for yourself as you don’t need many ingredients. BUT imagine having to serve a big portion of this salad for 20+ people… let just say my mom wasn’t really happy about the chopping part but the moment a spoonful of this salad touched her mouth – she forgot all about it. That’s how tasty it is 😉 Hope you enjoy it, Bon Shabétit!

Salad Shirazi

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Persian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 3 Medium Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp Lemon Juice , freshley squeezed
  • 1 tbsp Dried Mint
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers and onion into small cubes. The smaller you chop the veggies, the more that would help them to absorb more flavour. Put it all in a medium bowl.
  • Add dried mint, olive oil, salt, olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix well.
Keyword Cold, Quick, Side, summer

Baked Feta

Feta is by far my favourite cheese in the entire world. I love it so much and I pretty much always have it in the fridge. There’s so many different things you can do with it and baking it in the oven is one of them. If you haven’t already tried it, please go and do it as soon as possible because it’s just so tasty.

The good thing with this ‘appetizer’ is that there is no specific recipe you need to follow.  You can just add whatever you like and then bake it in the oven. 

I like to add tomatoes. I pretty much always find a way of adding tomatoes in my food because it doesn’t feel quite complete otherwise. But unfortunately, I’m aware that a lot of people out there do not share this love with me *cough* you’re crazy *cough* – so you can add something else such as paprika or onions.

But if you are going to go ahead with tomatoes – make sure you have cherry tomatoes as any other tomatoes will only turn it to a watery mess.

The important step here is the balsamico. It was actually my sister that suggested that I should add it and it truly made a difference. Before, I only added olive oil and honey but the balsamico gives it a syrupy sweetness that gives the dish a fresh and exciting taste. Bon Shabétit!

Ingredients

1 packet of feta (200g)
8 cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
honey 
Crema di balsamico
dried parsley
garlic powder
sea salt
pepper
chili flakes

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Chop the tomatoes in half and place them in an oven-proof dish. Crush the fresh garlic and mix it on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the spices and olive oil on top and place the feta on top of the tomatoes. Add spiced again and drizzle some balsamico and honey on top.
  3. Bake for 17 minutes. Serve immediately with bread, salad or crackers.

Honey and Tomato spaghetti

I guess it wouldn’t be right if my first recipe didn’t have the word ‘tomato’ in it.

Everyone that knows me, is aware of my ridiculous and almost obsessive love for tomatoes. I don’t know when or how it started but what I do know is that it is an essential ingredient in my kitchen. Maybe it’s the umami or maybe it’s the juiciness, whatever it is… I absolutely love it. 

This pasta dish is very simple and quick to make which says a lot because I’m not the quickest person you can find in the kitchen. I would like to say that it’s because I like to take my time but others might argue and say that I’m just a tinyyy bit slower than the average…

Two things that might stand out in this recipe from the other tomato sauces out there is the honey and tomato puree. I can’t emphasise the importance of the tomato puree in this recipe so please don’t use a can of chopped tomatoes. After years of observing my mom making her own tomato sauce, I have learned that tomato puree is the key to making the sauce both richer and colourful. As it is concentrated it will give the pasta sauce an intensity and body that is just deliciously good. And the honey –  well you just have to trust me on this.

Ingredients:

  • 450g uncooked spaghetti 
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 7-8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp boiled water
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • salt after taste 
  • pepper after taste 
  • a little Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), to serve

Method:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, do the same with the fresh parsley (but save some for garnish). Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, then roughly chop them.
  3. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of turmeric and add the onion and garlic, then cook for around 5 minutes or until soft and lightly golden.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. After one minute, season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon chili flakes (or add more if you like to have it spicier), then continue cooking for around 3 minutes. 
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of tomato puree and add boiled water and butter, stir until an even paste.
  7. Add the chopped parsley, and 1 teaspoon ketchup and 2 teaspoons full of honey, continue cooking for 6-7 minutes.
  8. Once the pasta is done, drain in colander over the sink and tip the spaghetti in to the pot.
  9. Stir the spaghetti into the tomato sauce for around a minute or so, add a little water or olive oil if it needs to loosen. 
  10. VOILÁ! Now serve it with little bit of Parmesan (LOOOL is there even such thing as ‘little’ parmesan). Also remember to garnish your plate with some fresh parsley to make it extra pretty and insta-worthy.

Bon Shabétit xx