Recipe: Charred Shallots Cooked in Barley

This recipe is a little bit of a strange duck. I had to read through the recipe more than three times to really understand how to make it and then I can’t locally get freekeh so I replaced it with barley. I imagine most very hearty, long cooking grains will probably be able to fill in like bulgur or brown rice even (with slightly adjusted cook times). This recipe is a flavor bomb so it’s really best served in small portions with something fresh and crisp on the side and maybe some bread sticks or grassini to round it out into a meal.

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Recipe: Chickpea-Potato Curry

I’ve tried a couple of chickpea curries and a few potato curries before but they never really hit the spot and I guess the missing piece was to make them at the same time because this curry is really delicious, super filling, and nicely spiced. I served this with some nice fluffy rice but it would also be great with naan or rotis instead. This is a great meal to throw together on a week night and can easily be doubled for leftovers for the rest of the week.

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Recipe: Potato, Cheese, and Leek Pie

This is a little fussy to make but it’s worth the fuss sometimes. If you want a show stopper vegetarian main you can do worse than this. This pie would pair nicely with a good creamy soup and a fancy salad. The type of cheese you use will basically be the main flavor so I suggest going for something local that has the flavors you personally like. I used a creamy, nutty almost sweet cheese and that pairs beautifully with the leeks and potatoes here. You can skip the nuts if you want but it helps with the texture.

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Recipe: Youvetsi

This recipe is basically a baked, Greek version of Pasta e Ceci. Though Pasta e Ceci tends to be more soup like and this came out less watery but still not quite as dry as a strained pasta. I really enjoyed the mild flavors but next time I might add more cinnamon and herbs to the sauce. Topping this with a handful of feta is an absolute must but between the chickpeas and the feta it’s a great way to bring in some protein to your easy weeknight pasta meal.

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Recipe: Dal Makhani

This is a great recipe that is just a handful of super simple ingredients that turn into a creamy, homey dinner. I made naan to go with this dal makani but you can serve it with any style of bread, roti, sour dough, etc. or even with rice or other grains. My SO likes it with cinnamon and mint on top and I like mine topped with lots of yogurt or cream.

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Recipe: Tex Mex Casserole

This is a really great and easy meal that is very customizable. What really took this casserole over the top was adding some crushed nachos on top for a great texture difference and a nice little pop of salt but you could put anything on top to change the texture and taste. This is also surprisingly good the next day so it might be better as a make ahead meal where you just heat it up and place extra toppings on it before serving.

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Recipe: Cauliflower Musakhan

Obviously the original version of musakhan is a big leg of chicken with pinenuts and sumac served on a flatbread but this recipe gestures towards it and is both really easy to whip up (especially if you have some frozen or ready made naan). Usually it’s not served with a yogurt sauce but I think most things in life would be better with a yogurt sauce. You could easily add some fresh olive or tomatoes or finishing olive oil instead and those would all be nice additions too.

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Recipe: Aash e Jow

There’s an entire category in Persian food of thick stews/thick soups, آش [Aash] and since that’s one of my SOs favorite types of food I have been trying to find ones that we both like and it just so happens this very simple barley stew is a winner with us. This soup is filling on its own without bread or other side dishes and it has soft comforting flavors that aren’t too challenging for people not used to Persian flavors.

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