Middle East

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

While the name may be a bit dramatic, this colorful salad is worth a little fanfare. First off, Besar and butternut squash is a match made in heaven, although I’ve also made this using Ras el Hanout and Sri Lankan Curry, and those are delicious too. Pair that with the dark leafy kale tenderized with vinegar and wilted by the warm squash, top it off with the pop of fresh pomegranate and a little nutty crunch and you have a kaleidoscope of texture, color and flavor.

ras_butternut_salad

This is a great dish to keep on hand through the season for a healthy lunch, and it will look beautiful on your holiday table.

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Besar, ground
  • 1 teaspoon urfa biber
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Cut the squash into manageable pieces and peel with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, then cut the pieces into 1" cubes.
  4. Transfer the squash cubes to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the besar, urfa and salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the oiled squash and toss again to coat.
  6. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, and oil lightly. Transfer the squash to the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  7. While the squash is baking, remove the seeds from the pomegranate and set aside.
  8. Rinse the kale and remove the leaf from each side of the stem. Stack the leaves and cross-cut into bite sized pieces.
  9. Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl or serving dish and add the vinegars. Gently massage the vinegars into the kale.
  10. When the squash is done, transfer to the mixing bowl on top of the kale. Add pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts, and stir gently to mix.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-kaleidoscope-salad/

Chef Tip: Many different vinegars will work in this recipe and I’ve used everything from simple apple cider vinegar to this fanciful Cranberry Pear White Balsamic from Genesis Kitchen. Try your favorite and enjoy!

butternut_roasted

 

Categories: Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Middle East, Recipes, Salads, Sides | Leave a comment

Brussels Sprouts with Za’atar and Nigella

brussels_sprouts_zaatarBrussels sprouts are a leftover food trauma from childhood that I’ve finally overcome. The limp, stinky-sulfur blobs (sorry, Mom) have been replaced with a crisp, roasted vegetable that is full of flavor and befitting a fall feast. Best of all, these are easy to make and a perfect vehicle for one of my favorite spice blends, Israeli Za’atar. The combination of herbs, sesame and sumac make this spice blend good enough to eat straight out of the jar, but it is even better on the brussels sprouts. A sprinkle of nigella seeds tops the dish off with an exotic garnish and a hint of nutty onion flavor.

Brussels Sprouts with Nigella and Za’atar

Brussels Sprouts with Nigella and Za’atar

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Israeli Za'atar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Trim the stems on the brussels sprouts, remove the outer leaves and cut in half.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and kosher salt, and toss to coat.
  4. Transfer the brussels sprouts to a lightly oiled sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  5. Return the brussels sprouts to the bowl and add the balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing again to coat. Sprinkle on the Israeli Za'atar and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Transfer the roasted brussels sprouts to a serving dish and garnish with nigella seeds.
  7. Makes 4 side servings.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/brussels-sprouts-nigella-zaatar/

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Middle East, Recipes, Sides | Leave a comment

Advieh Fig Preserves

Figs are such a versatile fruit, conjuring both exotic images of relief under shade trees in a desert oasis and the comfort of a fireside holiday treat. We’ve whipped up a spiced fig preserve that lives up to that reputation. Rich with wine, balsamic vinegar, orange, spices and honey, this spread is worthy of the finest table yet easy to make. Here’s the recipe, just in time for holiday entertaining.

figs

Advieh Fig Preserves

Yield: Makes 7 half pint jars.

Advieh Fig Preserves

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds black mission figs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • zest from 1/2 of a small orange
  • 4 teaspoons ground Advieh, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

  1. Rinse the figs, remove the stem and chop into halves.
  2. Combine the figs, water, balsamic vinegar, red wine, orange zest, and 2 teaspoons of Advieh in a large pot. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the mixture thickens to a jam consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Using an immersion blender, pulse the mixture to your desired consistency. We make ours quite chunky---just blending enough to beak down any large pieces of fig.
  4. Return the pan to the stove over low heat and add the honey and 2 remaining teaspoons of Advieh. Stir to combine.
  5. If the preserves thinned after blending, then simmer again to your desired consistency.
  6. Use a pressure or water bath canner to preserve.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/advieh-fig-preserves/

advieh_fig_jam_2

You can make preserves in a water bath or pressure canner, but rest assured they won’t last. We’ve gobbled up three jars in the first week and are hoping we have enough left for our Thanksgiving guests. Paired with Dukkah encrusted goat cheese and crostini they make a delicious snack. We plan to serve them alongside roast meats, too, for a sublime and unexpected combination.

advieh_fig_jam_canned

For this rainy day canning session we had help with the canning AND photography from our good friend Leah Manzari. Thanks, Leah!

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Mediterranean, Middle East, Recipes, Sides, Snacky Bits, Sweet Somethings | 2 Comments

Kale Tabbouleh with Ras el Hanout Dressing

Here is another sneak-peek into World Spice at Home! When Julie first shared this recipe with me, it was love at first bite. Hearty, healthy, and delicious this one has become an instant favorite.

This refreshing salad is perfect holiday fare. At a time when greens can often be over- shadowed by sweets, put this on the table and it will become everyone’s first choice instead. The bright citrus vinaigrette helps tenderize the kale, and the pomegranate seeds add a sunny pop of festive flavor.

Kale Tabbouleh Salad_unfiltered

Kale Tabbouleh with Ras el Hanout Dressing

Kale Tabbouleh with Ras el Hanout Dressing

Ingredients

    For the bulgur:
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat or quinoa
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground Ras el Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive or walnut oil
  • For the salad:
  • 1 bunch Tuscan (lacinato) kale, large ribs removed, leaves finely chopped
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1 apple, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the bulgur or quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, honey, vinegar, shallot, ras el hanout, and salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the kale and dressing and toss to coat. Add the bulgur, pomegranate seeds, apple, parsley, mint, basil, salt, and pepper and toss again. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and then serve.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/kale-tabbouleh-ras-el-hanout-dressing/

*(c)2014 By Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne. All rights reserved. Excerpted from World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Hot Topics, Middle East, Recipes, Salads | Leave a comment

Besar Shrimp Skewers

To celebrate the last gasp of summer, and the upcoming release of World Spice at Home, enjoy another sneak peek from the book!

The combination of exotic spices on seafood served with pineapple will transport you straight to the tropics. The bright layers of citrus and spice blend perfectly into the coconut oil and onto the shrimp. If you don’t have time to skewer, just add the shrimp and pineapple to your indoor grill pan and serve on a platter with toothpicks. You can also turn this into a main dish by serving with steamed or grilled vegetables and rice.

Besar Shrimp

Besar Shrimp Skewers

Besar Shrimp Skewers

Ingredients

    For the marinade:
  • ¼ cup coconut or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground Besar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the shrimp:
  • 24 extra-large or large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • 12 (6-inch) bamboo skewers
  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, for garnish
  • Flavor Notes:
  • Either Tikka Masala or Kashmiri Curry can be substituted for the besar to make this recipe with different flavors, or try orange juice and zest in place of the lemon. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric to the marinade if you want the prawns to have a brighter yellow color.

Instructions

  1. To make the marinade, melt the coconut oil in a small pan and allow it to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, Besar, lemon zest, paprika, and salt, and whisk well. Slowly add the oil whisking to combine. Add the shrimp and gently toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the skewers in water, placing a small plate directly on top of them to keep them completely submerged. Soak for about 20 minutes.
  3. Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple and remove the rind. Halve the pineapple; cut one half into small wedges or 3- to 4-inch cubes. Cut the other half into larger wedges or half rings for serving.
  4. Remove the skewers from the water. Thread a shrimp onto a skewer through the tail, then through the top. Push the shrimp down toward the bottom, leaving enough room to grasp the skewer. Add a pineapple cube and then another shrimp. Place the skewer on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the shrimp and pineapple. Add any extra pineapple to the skewers. Brush the pineapple cubes with a little olive oil.
  5. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Cook the skewers for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush them with any extra marinade. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with thyme, and serve with the pineapple wedges.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-shrimp-skewers/
*(c)2014 By Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne. All rights reserved. Excerpted from World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Categories: Caribbean, Course, Global Cuisines, Grilling Season, Hot Topics, Middle East, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

Baharat Rib-Eye

Enjoy this sneak peek from the upcoming release of World Spice at Home, by World Spice Merchant Amanda Bevill and cookbook author Julie Kramis Hearne. Available September 30th 2014!

Necessity is the mother of invention, and this beautiful pairing is a classic example. When we found ourselves out of our favorite steak rub one night, we had baharat on hand and whipped this up. Now there is a new favorite in the house. Baharat adds aromatic elements of cinnamon and allspice to a simple meat rub, and it transforms the rib-eye with unexpected flavors. The earthiness of the mushrooms is a nice complement to the spices and steak. We like to serve this with garlic mashed potatoes.

Baharat Ribeye

Baharat Rib-Eye

Serving Size: Makes 6 servings

Baharat Rib-Eye

Ingredients

    For the mushrooms:
  • 2 pounds mixed cremini, chanterelle, and other mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and cut into ½-inch slices
  • For the rub:
  • 3 tablespoons ground Baharat
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the steak:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 (1-pound) rib-eye steaks (about 1-inch thick)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the ovento 375 degrees.
  2. In a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the mushrooms and cook until any moisture from the mushrooms releases and evaporates. Add 1 tablespoon each of the butter and olive oil, and the shallot and cook until the mushrooms start to crisp up and turn golden. Sprinkle with the thyme, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer to a plate. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 30 minutes, stirring gently every 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low if the onions are cooking too quickly. Once caramelized, sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Return the mushrooms to the skillet, stir, and set aside.
  3. To make the rub, stir together the baharat, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Generously rub the steaks on both sides.
  4. To prepare the steaks, in a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until a nice golden crust forms. Transfer the steaks in the pan to the oven. Continue cooking for 6 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil, and allow the steaks to rest for at least 5 minutes. Reheat the skillet with the mushrooms for several minutes, or until nice and hot. Slice the steaks into ½-inch-thick slices and serve half of a rib-eye to each guest with the mushroom mixture on the side.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/baharat-rib-eye/

*(c)2014 By Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne. All rights reserved. Excerpted from World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Categories: Course, Global Cuisines, Grilling Season, Hot Topics, Main Meals, Middle East, Recipes | 2 Comments