The other day Barnaby and I decided to check out the new Persian restaurant down the road. Unfortunately, it had been years since I last had Persian food. But that is going to change! Why had I waited so long? It's so Puurrrrsia-licious! Wonderfully fragrant cinnamon, saffron, sumac and mint are just a few of the delicate flavors that lend balance to a dish.
For an appetizer we were brought a basket filled with walnuts, herbs, feta and a thin pita-like bread. I could have made a meal from this herby delight alone. We were told it was called panir sabzi.
Panir sabzi consists of fresh mint, lemony Persian basil, Persian tarragon, garlic chives, walnuts, feta cheese and flat bread. The walnuts are soaked overnight in salt water making them soft, moist and salty.
We recreated this dish at home and while I could not find the exact Persian herbs and bread my substitutions were just as good.
Feta (in brine is best as it's the most moist)
Pita, cut into quarters
Soaked walnuts (we were told to soak overnight in very salty water, like Dead Sea salty!)
Put a little bit of each on a piece of pita and enjoy! I think a sprinkle of sumac on top would add a lovely bit of color and lemony flavor, too.