Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories
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This rich and affectionate tribute to Persian home cooking in America combines traditional dishes with contemporary adaptations that reflect the cuisine's hallmarks transposed to a new place.
Yes, there is tahdig, the crunchy rice crust from the bottom of the pot, and maheecheh, lamb shanks braised in wine, saffron, and citrus zest. There are also pickles, breads, and a host of other traditional foods, But Deravian also includes dishes that she and her family have created since their departure from Iran, such as an arugula, orange, and fennel salad; a California version of dalaar, a green herb salt that uses cilantro, mint, and savory to replace the local herbs of northern Iran; and even a sour cherry and feta crostini—served as an appetizer or brunch dish, not dessert—that highlights the Persian affection for the combination of tart, sweet, and savory flavors.
Deravian is a lively storyteller, happy to share everything from a dish's regional origins to the tale of the home cooks who have opened their homes and kitchens to her and her family. She makes it clear just how traditional foods and family meals have been important to Persian expats in re-establishing a sense of community. Her charming attention to detail extends to the recipes as well, where she may tell you that a certain step can be skipped for convenience, but at the loss of a prized quality that sets a great cook's food apart.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. 384 pages.