Maysara Pinot Gris with Kuku Sabzi, Salad-e Shirazi + (Failed) Tahdig
This month the Wine Pairing Weekend writers are turning their spotlights on BIPOC winemakers. That's the acronym for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, if you are unfamiliar. David of Cooking Chat is hosting this theme for the third year in a row. Read David's invitation.
One of the reasons I love participating in these wine pairing groups: I learn something new at every event. and I always walk away with an ever increasing shopping list of wines to track down.
I got my hands on two bottles of wine made by Iranian immigrants who settled in Oregon. I will go into more depth about their history and their estate, but - for now - I'll just share my tasting notes and a few recipes.
2020 Maysara Winery Arsheen Pinot Gris
"Arsheen was an Archeamenian princess around 500 BC. She taught astronomy and was granted the role of winemaker in the palace due to her impeccable palate and knowledge."
This Pinot Gris comes from the Momtazi Vineyard in McMinnville which is a Demeter-Certified Biodynamic estate. The wine poured a pale, clear straw color. On the nose, there were the aromas of winter pears and apples, warm baking spices, and a hint of citrus. On the palate, the wine was crisp and clean with a beautiful acidity and just a whisper of honeysuckle. I knew it would be the perfect match for some vegetarian Iranian dishes on one our of Meatless Mondays.
Kuku Sabzi is a traditional Persian omelet that is typically served at Nowruz (Persian New Year), but I love serving as a delicious dish on a meatless evening.
My kuku sabzi is not wholly traditional in that I use whatever herbs I have available and I substitute cashews and pistachios for walnuts. But I do use the traditional barberries because I love their tang. If you can't find any, dried cranberries make a reasonable substitute...just see if you can get them unsweetened.
2 Tablespoons olive oil + more for greasing parchment paper
5 cups fresh herbs and greens (I used a combination of parsley, dandelion greens, dill, and thyme)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon each ground turmeric, ground cardamom, and ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 large eggs
1/2 cp nuts (I used a combination of raw cashews and pistachios)
1/3 cup dried barberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking dish with a greased piece of parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, place the herbs, greens, garlic, and nuts. Process until desired texture, drizzling in olive oil as you would make a pesto. I like my herbs less fine, so I keep the herbs fairly chunky.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with the cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, and pepper until well-blended. Fold in the herb-greens mixture and barberries. Pour into the prepared pan and gently push the mixture to the edge of the pan with a spatula.
Bake until the center of the egg is firm, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Note that the egg mixture will rise in the oven, but will deflate as it cools.
This salad originated from and is named after the city of Shiraz in southern Iran. It is a relatively modern dish, as the tomato wasn't introduced to Iran until the end of the nineteenth century in the Qajar era.
1 cup tomatoes, diced (I used 1 red and 1 yellow heirloom tomato)
1 cup cucumber, diced (I used Persian cucumbers)
¼ cup white onions, peeled and diced
1 Tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, and dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint)
salt, pepper, and ground sumac to taste
4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and let flavors meld for an hour before serving.
A (Failed) Tahdig
Tahdig, pronounced tah-deeg, literally means "bottom of the pot" in Persian. And it refers to a beautiful, pan-fried Persian rice that is fluffy and buttery on the inside with a perfectly golden crust, which is the layer at the bottom of the pot. It's beautifully laced with saffron and often scented with orange zest
Mine was unsuccessful. So, I won't share a recipe for this. And if anyone wants to teach me how to make this, I'm all ears!
Stay tuned for the post when I share the pairing for the BIPOC #WinePW event. That will be live on Friday, February 10th.