Category Archives: Appetizers

Spinach Soup (Ash-eh Reshteh)

Ash-eh Reshteh is a healthy and hearty vegetarian* soup made with spinach, lentils and beans.  It is traditionally garnished with a dollop of kashk (Persian sour whey very similar to sour cream) and nana dogh (mint oil).

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Shirazi Salad

Shirazi Salad is made with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, chopped mint leaves and fresh lemon juice. Crisp and refreshing, Shirazi Salad is the perfect side dish to go with joojeh (chicken), koobideh (beef) and barg (filet mignon) kabob.

  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers*, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well.  Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with sprig of fresh mint.

 

*Persian Cucumbers are small seedless cucumbers with a slightly sweet flavor.  The thin-skin exterior and light water content make these cucumbers ideal for Shirazi Salad – always crunchy and no peeling needed!  Available at any Persian grocery store, Trader Joe’s and even Costco.

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Mast-o-Esfinach (Yogurt and Spinach Dip)

Also known as Spinach Borani, this recipe is a healthy and delicious treat your whole family will love.  Best eaten with slices of grilled pita bread or pita chips.  You can also serve with a veggie tray of carrots, celery, and broccoli.

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Mast-o-kheeyar (yogurt with cucumbers)

This refreshing appetizer is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.  You can double or triple the recipe for a large party or scale it down for a quick snack.  Use it as a dip for veggies (baby carrots, zucchini, celery stalks and radishes), spread on top of grilled pita bread for a delicious appetizer or add to the dinner table for the perfect side dish. My family loves to use mast-o-kheeyar as a dip for potato chips! 

Mast-O-Kheeyar

  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (3.5% or 4% fat plain yogurt works best)
  • 1 tsp chopped mint leaves (fresh or dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together.  Serve in small bowl.

Diced Cucumbers

Fresh mint leaves

Plain yogurt (I prefer 3.5% or 4% fat, though you could use 1% or fat-free as well)

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