Janet and I took the Persian Cuisine demo cooking class at the local hippie grocery store last week.  I reproduced two of the recipes: Khoresh-e kadu Halvai-o Alu ba Morgh (Braised butternut squash and chicken stew with prunes and walnuts) and Aash-e-Reshteh (beans, fresh greens and noodle soup).

Aash-e-reshteh (beans, fresh greens & noodle soup)

Aash-e-reshteh (beans, fresh greens & noodle soup)

Serves 4-6, preparation time: 30 minutes, cooking time: 50 minutes

2T olive oil
2 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1t salt
1/2t pepper
1t turmeric
1t cumin seeds
1t ground coriander
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 can white beans, rinsed
1C lentils
6C no/low-salt beef or vegetable broth
2C water
2C fresh parsley, finely chopped
1C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1C scallions, finely chopped
1C fresh dill, finely chopped
6C fresh spinach, finely chopped
8 ounces linguini (break into thirds)
sour cream to dollop on top

In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic and olive over medium heat for ~5 minutes. Add the salt and spices, stir 1 minute. Add beans, borth, water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook 30 minutes on medium-low heat.

Add chopped fresh herbs, spinach and noodles. Gently mix and cook an additional 15 minutes or until the noodles are cooked

Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Koresh-e Kadu Halvai-o Alu ba Morg (Braised butternut squash and chicken stew with prunes and walnuts)   Serves 4.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

3T ghee (I used coconut oil)
1C walnuts
1 medium butternut squash, cut into 2″ cubes.
1 onion, sliced
4 chicken pieces bone-in and skin-on (I used two large chicken breasts)
1t cinnamon
1/2t turmeric
1/4t cloves
1t salt
1/2t pepper
2C unsalted chicken broth
2T sugar
juice of one lime (and lime zest, because zest is too good to throw away)
1C pitted prunes (mine were pre-chopped; would do this with halves next time)
pinch of ground saffron dissolved in 2T hot water

In a dutch oven over medium heat, saute the walnuts in 1T ghee for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
In same pot, add an additional tablespoon of ghee and sautee the butternut squash for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pot again, add 1T ghee and lightly sautee the onion and chicken pieces for ~5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, salt and pepper. Saute for a minute. Pour in chicken broth. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Once the chicken is tender, add usgar, lime juice (and zest), prunes and the sauteed butternut squash. Cover and cook over low heat for an additional 30 minutes.

(At this point, I pulled out the chicken breasts to remove the skin & bones; I chopped it into chunks).

Pour in saffron water, stir and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

Khoresh-e Kadu Halvai-o Alu ba Morgh
(Braised butternut squash & chicken stew with prunes and Walnuts)
Work in progress