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A Tasty Plant-Based Persian Supper

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

This lovely artichoke khoresh, or stew, is scented with dried Persian limes, saffron, and lots of herbs. Served alongside a light mound of fragrant saffron rice with a terrific side dish of thick strained soy yogurt, mixed with Swiss chard, leeks, and roasted garlic for a delightful, healthy Persian supper. Of course, you can also enjoy any of these three components separately.

Note: Lightly fermented dried Persian limes are popular throughout the Middle East. Used whole to flavor a stew or soup and then discarded, they can also be ground and sprinkled over a dish to deepen and elevate its flavor. You can find them in ethnic markets and online.

Herby Persian Artichoke Celery Chickpea Khoresh

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour, most of which

Serves 4 to 5

Pinch of good quality saffron threads, crushed and steeped in 2 tablespoons hot water

2 Persian dried limes, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened

12 fresh baby artichokes, as small as possible, stems included, or 10-ounce jar or can artichoke hearts packed in water, or frozen, defrosted

2 onions, medium dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 ½ cups celery, about 5 stalks, cut in ¼-inch slices

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas from 15.5-ounce can, no sodium, or made from about ½-cup dried beans

2 cups unsalted vegetable broth, heated

1 cup mixed fresh herbs, chopped, like mint, parsley, dill, cilantro, basil

Several grinds of black pepper

2 tablespoons shiro (mild, white) miso paste, diluted in hot water, or to taste

Garnishes: additional fresh chopped herbs, lemon wedges, lemon zest or ground dehydrated lemon powder

To make a saffron “tea” use a mortar and pestle to finely crush the saffron in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons

hot water and allow to steep until use.

In a small bowl cover the the dried limes with boiling water and steep for about 20 minutes or until softened. Discard the soaking water and puncture the limes in a few places with a skewer or chopstick. Set aside.