I'm a self confessed cookbook hoarder. I love 'em. Rarely do I get one, however, where I want to cook EVERYTHING from it. There's usually a smattering of things I have to cook, but there's also usually some page bulking drivvle.
Persiana is absolutely jam packed with recipes you Have to cook. Persian food is one that is little understood in England, and Persiana gives you an excellent insight into not just Persian cuisine but middle eastern as a whole.
I wanted to cook so much from the book, that I effectively spent an entire day cooking various things culminating in an absolute FEAST for my missus and mum.
Middle Eastern food is all about sharing and involvement, and the food I love is spread out on a table and you have to reach over and get people to pass you things. It gets you talking about what you're eating.
I started with the marinated Feta, about as easy and effective as cooking gets. Oily-spicy-creamy goodness. Anything with pickled chillies in it is an absolute winner for me.
You'll never buy hummus again once you've made the normal and the lime and coriander versions from the book. It makes absolutely loads so you'll be enjoying it for days after!
The roast leg of lamb with cumin dipping salt was superb and perfectly spiced. The griddled aubergine with saffron yoghurt was middle eastern food embodied for me, smoky and rich and nicely perfumed.
The real winner for me, however was the fennel, apple and pomegranate salad. The perfect accompaniment to the lamb. I've made it several times for friends and they can't get over how delish it is. Even for those who don't like the anis flavour of fennel.
If you like beautifully spiced food that's interesting and inventive, then I can't recommend this book enough.
P.s the lamb biryani is an absolute winner too.
Right now I just need to get round to cooking everything from it.