What book lover or writer wouldn’t benefit from someone else taking up the meal preparation slack while they’re reading or working on a novel? Anyone can cook tasty fare that’s unhealthy. The real art lies in food that’s both healthy and delish. How fortunate I am that my husband works from home these days and loves to cook.
Forgive, dear reader, the drool on these introductory words. My aim is to give you an idea of what the recipe that follows tastes like, but I’m too busy dealing with the watering in my mouth to think.
Okay, here goes—fresh, crunchy, sweet, salty, peppery, soft—and delicious!!!!!!
There. Oh, and exotic yet familiar, green and healthy, yet decadent. Easy but a bit time consuming so make enough for a few meals. It’s filled with everyday ingredients like bread and cheese, but with the added specialness of a not-your-run-of-the-mill sort. Lavash (a soft, thin unleavened flatbread available at many grocers) and feta,(a cheese made from the milk of cows or goats or sheep) and greens that are best eaten raw yet go cosmos-beyond lettuce and spinach. Things of which the mere scent of them are heaven!!! These are fresh herbs such as dill, tarragon (worthy of making into a perfume though one might get bitten…) and parsley and cilantro. If you’ve got more, great, but if you haven’t got these, all is forgiven because most any green leafy goodness will do.
There—I’ve said it—onto the recipe. Oh, and it’s my husband’s own making, a melange of cultures, and personal preferences. It’s a reworking of a Turkish chopped herb salad.
This is a forgiving dish—I make it my own way, and that’s good too—but let me step aside. Today it’s Khashayar’s turn to be our guest here. Slobber away, folks! By the way, he’s got more healthy easy recipes here and here and here and here and here and here too…
Herb Salad Recipe by Khashayar Parsi
- EVO 1/2 a cup (note from da-AL: EVO is the abbreviation for Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Lime 1 small
- Basil (Lemon or Thai) 1 bunch
- Chives (or Green Onions) 1 bunch
- Cilantro 1 bunch
- Dill 1 bunch
- Parsley 1 bunch
- Tarragon 1 Bunch
Feta Cheese 8 oz (another note from da-AL: this is a particularly wonderful cheese because it’s so flavorful that one needs far less than most other types. To lessen saltiness, drain the brine and replace it with water. Another great think about it that when it’s stored in either brine or water, it keeps for a very very long time.)
Garlic 4 cloves
Lavash Bread 16 oz
Grapes 1-1/2 cups
- Almonds 1/2 a cup
- Cashews 1/2 a cup
- Walnuts 1/2 a cup
- Onion 1/2 a medium size
- Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
- Cumin 1 teaspoon
- Pepper (Black and Cayenne) 1 teaspoon each
- Mince the onion and garlic, and put them in a large bowl. Add lime juice, EVO, and pepper (black and cayenne). Mix and let them soak as you prepare the rest of the salad.
Tip: Do not add any salt; feta cheese is already salty. If you like it saltier, adjust it at the end.
Tip: Save 2 teaspoons of EVO to toast the nuts.
2. Chop the cilantro, parsley, dill, chives, lemon basil, and tarragon.
Tip: Dry well after washing them.
Tip: If you use a food processor, make sure not to mince them.
3. Roast the nuts for about a couple of minutes on medium heat. Let them cool to room temperature and crush them.
Tip: You can put them in a bag and use a hammer.
Tip: Do not grind them. Crushed nuts will give the salad a better texture.
4. Crumble the cheese.
5. Dry the lavash sheets (on very low heat) until they are like crackers, and crumble them by hand.
Tip: Be careful; they can go from perfect to overdone very quickly.
Tip: Do not use a food processor, because it makes bread crumbs.
6. Add the herbs, walnuts, feta cheese, lavash and the remaining spices to the bowl and mix well. You can also add grapes like these (1 1/2 cups) from our backyard.
Nooshe-Jawn (Bon Appetite in Farsi)
Tip: Serve with some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers on the side.
Do you have a tasty, healthy, and easy dish that you like to make?