Fresh Spring Corn Salad

 

This recipe is one of my favorite recipes in late spring and summer. This super fresh salad is an all-about-fresh ingredient salad. This salad is a great partner to chicken roasts or au gratin and makes a wonderful presentation at your family dinner table. I love to use my corn fresh, but you can definitely grill it and enjoy the extra flavor of charring. 

How to Cut corn off the cob

 

In my method, I keep the corn cob in a standing position in a large bowl and cut from top to bottom using a sharp knife while holding the corn stem firmly. After slicing down a strip of kernels, I rotate the cob and repeat until all kernels are cut. Using a bowl instead of a cutting board prevents kernels from flying off everywhere. 

How much salt is needed?

Feel free to eliminate salt altogether from this salad since red wine vinegar covers the palate so well that you will not notice the elimination of salt. This makes this salad particularly suitable for people with high blood pressure and who follow a dash diet. I am so excited to share this recipe with you.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups corn kernels (from 2 cobs)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and medium dice
  • 4-5 Persian cucumbers, cubed
  • ½ medium sweet onion, small dice
  • ½ cup wheat sprouts (or any other sprout of your choice)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp fine kosher salt, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large serving bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Preferably, rest in the fridge for 2 hours for the best result. This salad stays fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator while covered. 

Spring Cannellini Beans and Barley Salad

Spring Cannellini Beans and Barley Salad

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This salad is packed with fiber, protein, and most importantly flavours. Every spring, I gather whatever vegetables I buy from the market and prepare this salad. It is amazingly delicious and curbs your hunger.

Above all, this salad has no added salt. Instead, it is seasoned with apple cidar vinegar which is great substitute for salt. Here is How to make this Salad:

Salad Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

 ¼ tsp red pepper

 One tsp dried oregano or mint

½ tsp fresh cumin powder, add more if you like

Black pepper powder to taste

 1 tsp honey, optional

Salad Mix

1 red sweet pepper, chopped

1 cup cooked cannellini or white beans

1 cup cooked barley 

1 cup blanched green beans

⅓ cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped lettuce, optional

1 cup chopped cucumber

 

How to Cook White Beans

We soak the beans the night before. The next day, pour into a pot of cold water and cook on the stove for 50 minutes to an hour to soften the beans. Then pour into a colander to cool. We can definitely cook cannellini beans in batches ahead of time and freeze them. 

 

How to Blanch Green Beans

To prepare the green beans, first chop them and then cook them in boiling water for two to three minutes and then immediately put them under a cold tap water to cool quickly so the cooking process is stopped. 

Green beans

In the meantime, prepare the salad dressing. Pour all the sauce ingredients into a jam jar, close the lid and shake well.

 

How to Assemble The Salad

To assemble the salad, pour all the ingredients into a large bowl and add the salad dressing before serving.






 

Spiced Oat and Almond Muffins

These are the most recent additions to my regular recipes at home! They are low in sugar, high in fiber and packed with aroma and flavor coming from freshly ground spice mix!

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • Two eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup milk, 2%
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
Spices

Dry Ingredients

2.5 cups of oat flour 

1 cup almond flour

½ cup sugar

1.5 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cardamom (3-4 pods)

1 tsp derided ginger, powdered (10 sma

1 tsp allspice ground (5-6 pearls)

2 tsp ground cinnamon (one small stick)

½ tsp ground cloves (4-5 pods)

¼ tsp salt

Directions

  1. Warm up the oven to 350F. Grease a 12- cup muffin tin or place muffin papers in the tins,  and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl mix all the dry ingredients and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl mix in all the wet ingredients and mix.
  4. Add the dry ingredients over the wet mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. 
  5. Fill all the muffin cups ¾ of the way full and place in the hot oven to bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least for 30 minutes to completely set.
  7. Drizzle icing on the top and serve!

Spiced Oat and Almond Muffins

To make the icing, whip 1.5 cups of icing sugar with 3 tablespoons of milk on low speed. Adjust the consistency with some extra milk or icing sugar. Don’t be shy to use vanilla extract if you like!

To buy this useful cooling rack, click here

To Buy my favorite silicon mate Click Here

Cherry Clafoutis

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There is not a single time I see big black cherries and they don’t bring memories of my childhood. We had this large cherry tree in our summer villa, and every year, it would give us the juiciest and largest black cherries! They were heavenly delicious and just pretty to watch! I was one of those girls who would climb up trees as much as the branch could carry my light weight! You can imagine how far up I could climb! It was my ritual to pick the cherries from this tree every years until I came to Canada where I find very similar cherries coming from Okanagan!

Watching these cherries when in season truly connect my every summer to the past! Now that I know much about cooking, I not only indulge in fresh picked ones, I use them in baking too!

This week we picked some wild black berries from an alley near our house. I thought they would be a perfect match with mixed cherries to make my summer time clafoutis! This dessert was heavenly delicious and hope you bake it and enjoy it as much as my family and I did!

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400-600g fresh whole cherries or other summer fruits cut into pieces
60g powder sugar, extra for dusting

Some sugar for sprinkling over the baking dish
3 tbsp concentrated (evaporated) orange juice (optional)
60g butter, melted, plus extra to grease
100g pastry flour
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, beaten
250ml whole milk
3 tbsp almond meal
Grated zest of one lemon (optional)

 Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a medium baking dish (wide enough to hold cherries in one single layer) with some butter, and sprinkle sugar. Spin the dish round to coat the inside with sugar, then set aside.

Wash the cherries and remove the stalks. Place them in a bowl and lightly crush to pop the cherries’ skin. If you like, you can remove the stone, but it is better not to do. Place them at the bottom of the greased baking dish.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Place the eggs in a medium bowl with powdered sugar, beat with a whisk until fluffy and pale.

Then, add milk, butter, and orange concentrate. Mix well and last, add the flour. Mix with a rubber spatula and Pour into the prepared baking dish over the cherries and bake for 30-40 minutes, until edges are light golden and the centre is springy to touch. Cover and let cool down for 10 minutes. Flip two times to get the top upright! Decorate with icing sugar and fresh fruits. Serve warm immediately with vanilla ice cream, or coffee! Any way you choose this desert, this dessert is irresistibly delicious!

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Soaked Bulgar Kale Salad

This year, I have started a larger vegetable garden in which among many greens and vegetables, I have planted curled green kale. Kale is known to have leaves that are a bit chewier and coarser than lettuce, making them less popular among kids and young folks. What I always do with it was to use it in my green smoothie! It gives the smoothie a beautiful bright green color and makes it nutrient rich without compromising the taste! You can find the recipe here.
However this time, I felt these home-organically grown kales are very delicate, honestly softer than lettuce leaves. We pick them and out them in a basket and boom! Wash and eat!
Therefore, I decided to make a full yet light dinner out of them. The result was perfect and so so so delicious that I decided to write a blog about it. Here Is my recipe for this semisweet kale salad. You can definitely make this salad even if you don’t have your own kale; simply grab a bunch at the grocery store with smaller and younger leaves. I am sure you get very similar results! Enjoy!

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Kale Salad5

Serves 4

1cup uncooked bulgar

1Tbsp Olive oil

2Tbsp lime juice

1Tbsp honey

1Tbsp mustard

250g cooked chicken meat, diced

A bunch of curled kale, thinly sliced

1cup crispy pear, diced

1/2 cup aged marble cheddar cheese, diced

Salt n pepper

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Direction

Soak the bulgar ahead of time in the cold water for at least one hour. Drain and set aside.

Combine all the diced ingredients. Add the bulgar and toss with olive oil. Finish with adding the lemon juice, mustard, and honey. Adjust the seasoning. Toss well and serve.

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Kale Salad1

See my favourite wooden spatulas here

Rhubapricot Leather Rolls

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Rhubapricot Leather Rolls are the healthiest and most fun summer snack that can be fit into any pocket without any mess! Although this statement is very subjective, one can argue over so many good qualities of this snack. It is not only great to be licked on fresh next day, its main goodness reveals in winter when fresh fruits and summer vegetables are scarce! Well, in my home, Farnaz and Kiamehr almost finished this batch already, so I need to work on my next batch already and this time I have to hide this winter treasure! Hope you like this recipe! Go ahead and make this super tart snack and cause some mouths to water and squeeze!

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Ingredients
2 lb rhubarb
1/2 lb apricot
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1tsp lemon juice
Directions
  • Arrange the oven to the lowest temperature it allows.
  • Place parchment paper at the bottom of two oven-safe sheet pans; cut the papers slightly bigger to pass the rim. Set aside.
  • Chop the apricots and rhubarb into large pieces. Place them in a copper pot (preferable) and add the sugar and water. Bring into a simmer and cook without a lid until fruits are just soft and colour has not changed. Add the lemon juice and remove from heat. Let stand to cool down.
  • Transfer the fruit mix to a blender and make it into a purée. Do not over mix or you get air bubbles.
  • Using a flat spatula, spread the puree as thin as 1/6 inch. If you like the fruit leather very thin, you may need two sheet pan.
  • Place the sheet pan in the warm oven and let dry.
  • In the end, cut the sheets into 1.5-inch stripes and roll, roll, and ROLL! Tight with kitchen twine and keep in a container at room temperature.

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Fespinach Egg Dish

An easy Sunday Breakfast at Fariba’s!

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Tomo is a dear girl from Japan who lives in Vancouver. She is a  friend of my daughter, Farnaz, and comes to our house to visit regularly. Last weekend, she was our guest and on Saturday morning Farnaz came to me with a request for breakfast.

Well, I told her that a good breakfast needs an excellent list of fresh ingredients! Without grocery shopping, it is not going to turn out a pretty and tasty breakfast! She hopped onto her car and came back with a bag of things I have listed as ingredients! And you can guess the happy ending! I served them this delicious breakfast that I am going to give you the recipe just down below!

 

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Ingredients: 

8 fresh whole eggs

2 bunches baby spinach

250g  feta cheese, cubed

2tsp sumac

Salt and pepper

1Tbsp butter

Toasted bread slices for serving

Method:

Grease the bottom of an oven-proof dish with butter. Warm up the oven to 350F.

Meanwhile, blanch the spinach in boiling water for max 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the water out and chop up. Mix spinach with feta cheese and sumac. Arrange the mixture in the pan into four sections.

Crack the eggs in the pan and season with salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven for max 10 minutes until the eggs are slightly set. Let cool for 5 minutes. And serve with toasted bread and a green salad if desired! My choice for greens are mixed greens we buy from grocery stores and simply toss them in a large bowl first with olive oil and then with some vinaigrette of your choice! Enjoy every bit! Cheers!

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Young Green Almond Mutton Stew

It is nothing tastier than crunching on the spring green almonds in Spring.  If you were born and raised in Iran, your mouth waters as you are reading this text! It is absolutely the most delicious and freshest thing you can start off the season of rebirth!

However today, I did something different with my green almonds. I turned it into a stew made with lamb shank. The recipe was a great success. Simply make sure not to overcook the Green Almonds! A simple rule, in this case, is that it is better to serve undercook than overcooking. Remember, serve it Al Dente!

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Ingredients

2 medium onions, minced and divided

3Tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound Mutton stew shanks, cleaned and cut

1 teaspoon saffron, ground

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4tsp white pepper, ground

300g Young almonds, cleaned and stemmed

3 cups Chicken broth

 

Directions

In a skillet heat oil and sauté meat pieces until brown on all sides. Set aside. Sauté onion in on Tbsp oil until fragrant. Add pepper and turmeric and cook for 30seconds. Add the meat and two cups of chicken broth. Let cook on medium-low heat and cook for about 2 hours until tender. Add saffron.

Meanwhile, sauté the rest of the onion and green almonds until fragrant. Add one cup of chicken stock and cook until al dente.

Cook rice and mix 3Tbsp with ground saffron. Set aside.

At the end mix almonds with meat and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with saffron rice.

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GreenAlmond-stew

Our Garden Zuccini Flowers

My dad had bought me some zucchini seeds to plant last year when I was coming back to Vancouver. And I did plant them in the spring! Soon my zucchini plants grow so big and started to flower on a regular basis. Some would fall off and turned into zucchini but some flowers just stayed flowers!

stuffed zucchini

I knew from my last summer’s travel to Sicily that they stuffed and fried them. They were served as an afternoon snack fresh. I was inspired by Sicilians taking advantage of falling flowers! So, I decided to transform my beautiful flowers into a yummy recipe!

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The recipe I prepared is a simple and clean deep fried zucchini flowers. The ingredients I used are borrowed from Italian cuisine. Feel free to change the into your own culture’s taste bud and enjoy them your way! There is absolutely no end to how you can be creative and trans formative when we get to cooking!

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Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Ingredients:

10-15 Zucchini Flowers

½ cup Ricotta cheese

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

2 egg yolks

Salt and pepper

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

3 cups vegetable oil

Method

  • In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, egg yolks and salt n pepper.
  • Gently open the blossoms and fill with about a tablespoon of filling with a small spoon. These blossoms are very fragile; so make sure they are not ripped in the filling process.
  • Twist the tip of the flowers to close and encase the filling.
  • Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt n pepper, and baking powder.
  • In a small pot, heat oil to reach 350F. Then, fry flowers for about 5 minutes or until light golden color and crispy (Make sure not to fry too many at the same time, since this makes the oil temperature to decrease which makes the flowers less crispy and soggy. It is best to fry them in small batches and bring oil to 350F before next batch).
  • Place flowers on a paper towel and serve while hot!

Please Note that you can prepare the filling a day a head and flowers stay fresh if wrapped in paper and kept in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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stufffed zucchini

Quince and Lamb Shanks Braise

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Our home is surrounded by garden all over and depending on the season, plants show off different scenery. It is been snowy the last few days and we keep the window blinds open the whole time these days to enjoy the beautiful snow covered gardens. When things frizz at this time of the year, all the magic stories and beautiful nights start to come around. I have everything ready to celebrate the best time of the year Christmas and Yalda nights, just few days apart from each other! And all in all, it means that holidays are in here!

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These day home has a new refreshing air since our Farid is back home, and we are all together as one family again celebrating the magical nights of Yalda and Christmas. Nothing feels better than just being together eating a healthy and family style food! And this brings me to the kitchen cooking something well paired with the holiday season.

Since quince is in season, I decided to share with you my recipe which I am going to make for Yalda night! I decided to upload a bit earlier so you too can make this dish in holiday season! The sweet and spicy taste of quince braise is definitely a great complement for celebrating dinner tables.

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Here is a list of what you need

  • 5 lamb shanks, cleaned and trimmed
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 large quince, cut into wedges (right before cooking)
  • 2 medium onions, small cubes
  • 2 lime juice and zest, keep zest and juice separate
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2tsp coriander, ground
  • 1tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/4tsp saffron, brewed in 2Tbsp of boiling water for 2 minutes
  • 1Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple or orange juice
  • 1Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1Tbsp butter

Method

·      In a large skillet heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and brown lamb shanks on all sides until golden brown. Set aside

·      Meanwhile place a large casserole pot over heat and melt the butter. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and light golden. Add the spices, lemon zest, tomato paste, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. Sauté for 1 minutes. Add the shanks to the pot and add half the chicken stock.

·      Cook for 1hour or until shanks are half cooked.

·      Meanwhile, peel the quinces, cut them into wedges and add them to the casserole dish. Add the rest of the stock and apple juice, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook until the lamb is tender so it easily comes of the bone and the quince are soft.

·      You can finish the braising in the oven without lid. This gives the dish a darkened and more rustic look. Sprinkle the saffron water over the lamb and serve on the casserole dish or a platter. Enjoy!

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