Pseudo piggybacking on last week’s Persian celery stew note, this past Friday I had the opportunity to skip up to New York for a whopping let’s-call-it twelve hour gathering with my father’s family – an evening of togetherness, a table overflowing with traditional Shabbat and Persian dishes, and hugs and time with my grandmother – for a celebration of life and Babe with my nearly every cousin and uncle under the sun. Though I’d hardly call my upbringing or present self ‘religious,’ it’s Shabbat evenings like this past Friday and my one before it that reaffirm those undertone longings for tradition and history, the magic found in unconditional community, the hullabaloo of gathering, perhaps for the sake of carrying something – be it religion, family mores, or the spell of friendship- on. Andrew and I tend to leave these evenings overwhelmed with gratitude, surrounded by family, both blood relatives and those who’ve enduringly wiggled their ways into our cells and breath, and can only hope these hours continue and carry though and throughout our little Babe’s.
Meant as either an side dish accompaniment to my Persian Celery Stew or a light bite main meal, topped with ripe avocado and a healthful dollop of hummus, this very simple, potluck or leftover sized Persian rice dish overflows with fresh herbs and nutrition. Made with basmati rice, plant based protein and fiber rich lima beans, handfuls of fresh dill, and a game changing pop of saffron, I serve mine warm, fresh from the stove top, piled high with khoresh karafs (celery stew) and an extra sprinkle of fresh dill for good measure.
Persian Dill Rice, Baghali Polo [makes 10 servings]
inspired by: Louisa Shafia, Rice with Fava Beans and Dill, The New Persian Kitchen
2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1-hour, then drained
3 cups filtered water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 1/3 cups (about 1 pound) frozen lima beans
1 bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon saffron, soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water
salt & pepper to taste
In a medium pot, bring rice and filtered water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice has absorbed all water. Using a fork, gently incorporate 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set rice aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add lima beans and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add dill and continue to sauté until dill is just wilted, about 2 minute. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, gently combine cooked rice, lima bean mixture, and saffron until well incorporated. Season to taste, serve, and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving = about 1 cup]
230 Calories, 5.5g Fat, 39g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 1g Sugar, 5.5g Protein
For My Memory and Your Back Pocket (Weeks 16-17)
• These past two weeks I’ve found the courage to meander myself into the land of prenatal yoga (while still maintaining my regular 2-3x/week practice). Smitten with it conceptually, I’m not sure I’m quite there, yet. I’ll leave it at ‘active napping’.
• Little Babe has been wiggling up a storm – it doesn’t feel so much like a ‘kicking’, but almost like a butterfly fluttering. Hello in there!
• EVERYTHING smells delicious.