Torshi Tareh (Iranian Chive and Herb Braise)

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Torshi tareh is the dish I never knew existed but always wanted. Hailing from Iran’s Caspian Sea area, it’s a regional speciality much like saag paneer — but with eggs instead of cheese. Chock-full of greens, it’s worth seeking out the namesake tareh in this recipe. Tareh are Persian chives (also called Persian leeks). If you can’t find these, a mix of green onions and garlic chives make a reasonable substitute.

Torshi tareh

Ingredients:

For the braise:

2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
2 cups parsley, roughly chopped
2 cups cilantro, roughly chopped
2 cups Persian chives (or substitute with green onions and garlic chives), roughly chopped
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons rice flour dissolved in 1 cup water

For the eggs:

3 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
6 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup lime juice

1. To make the braise: Place all of the herbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in an enameled cast-iron pot. Transfer the herb mixture to the pot and saute over medium heat for a few minutes.

3. Add salt, turmeric, 1 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Add the diluted rice flour and give it a stir. Cover, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for another 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

4. Make the eggs: Heat the remaining 3 teaspoons oil in a skillet over low heat until hot. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until lightly golden.

5. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and add the salt, pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon until just blended.

6. Just before serving. Add the egg mixture to the garlic in the skillet and saute for a few minutes, stirring until you have soft scrambled eggs.

7. Add the eggs and the lime juice to the braise in the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Serve warm with rice.

Chicken Piccata with Olives and Artichokes

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I love this chicken piccata recipe because it combines the best of both worlds: crunchy fried chicken and tangy, briny vegetables. This dish is easier to make than it looks and it’s perfect for springtime, showcasing tender artichokes — but without all of the prep.

Chicken piccata with olives and artichokes

Ingredients:

1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Eight 6-ounce chicken cutlets, about 1/8 inch thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
16 pitted kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
1 jar marinated artichokes (about 1 1/2 cups), drained and quartered
2/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the seasoned bread crumbs.

2. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the oil over moderately high heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken to the skillets (working in batches if needed) and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown outside and white throughout, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a platter.

3. Wipe out the skillet and add the olives and artichoke hearts. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until heated through. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and capers and boil for 1 minute, stirring. Spoon the artichoke and olive sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley and immediately.

Strawberry-Mint Agua Fresca

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My favorite thing about this strawberry agua fresca (outside of it being immensely refreshing) is the Persianity factor. The Iranian vibes are strong with this one, my friend: a generous addition of not just mint but heady rosewater takes this agua fresca to the next level.

You’ll be sipping this all spring (and summer). Happy strawberry season.

Strawberry-mint agua fresca

1 pound strawberries, trimmed
1/3 cup mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon rosewater
Club soda
Lime wheels, for serving (optional)

1. Puree strawberries, mint leaves, lime juice, agave nectar, rose water, and 2 cups water in a blender until smooth. Transfer puree to a container, cover, and chill until cold, about 1 hour.

2. Skim off any foam from surface and pour puree into four serving glasses filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with mint sprigs and lime wheels.

Oven-Baked Garlic Fries

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There’s nothing revolutionary about these fries. But I love them because (a) they’re fries, (b) they’re oven-baked, so they’re healthy, obvs, and (c) they’re sprinkled with garlic, and who doesn’t love garlic fries?

Make sure to bake these potatoes unpeeled; otherwise, they won’t hold up their shape.

Oven-baked garlic fries

Ingredients:

2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch-wide fries
1/4 cup avocado oil
Salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450F degree. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add the potatoes and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil and season with salt. Spread on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden on the bottom. Turn and bake for 20 minutes longer, turning occasionally, until golden. Transfer the fries to a platter, sprinkle with the garlic, parsley, and pepper, and serve.

Mixed Greens, Turkey Bacon, and Poached Egg Salad

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Yeah, I’m one of those. I love turkey bacon. Don’t @ me.

In this salad-as-a-meal, mixed greens, wild mushrooms, bacon, and a poached egg come together to form a greater than the sum of its parts dish. I used a blend of romaine and baby arugula here, but feel free to use anything. And you can fry your egg instead of poaching it, too. Just give the turkey bacon a chance.

Greens, turkey bacon, and poached egg salad

3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Salt
Pepper
1/2 pound turkey bacon
2 sprigs rosemary
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms (such as oyster or shiitake), woody stems removed
3/4 mixed lettuce (such as romaine and baby arugula), leaves torn into 3″ pieces
4 eggs

1. Place half of the Parmesan in a large bowl and add shallot, vinegar, honey, and 4 teaspoons oil and whisk; season dressing with salt and pepper.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until brown and beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes. Add rosemary and cook, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer bacon and rosemary to paper towels.

3. Add remaining teaspoons oil to skillet and heat over medium-high. Arrange mushrooms in pan in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, tossing, until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with dressing. Strip rosemary leaves off stems into bowl and add lettuces; toss to combine.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat so water is at a simmer. Crack an egg into a small bowl; gently slide egg into water. Quickly repeat with remaining eggs. Poach, rotating eggs gently with a large slotted spoon, until whites are set but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using spoon, transfer eggs to a plate. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Arrange salad on 4 serving plates, sprinkle remaining Parmesan over and top with bacon and poached eggs.