A new favourite cookbook

Although it is not yet on the shelf at home it is possible I may have found my new favourite cookbook.

Two weeks ago The Observer Food Monthly had an article in it on a book called Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. There was a picture of a plate of aubergine, cooked on a grill with black ridges and dressed with yogurt coloured with saffron with red chilli and coriander. There was a recipe for tomato salad with pomegranate molasses and another for seafood stew with saffron.

We had the tomato salad a couple of days later and it was particularly good.

This evening we had a Spiced Vegetable Soup from the same article. I fiddled around with it a bit; keeping the potatoes and chickpeas whole rather them blitzing them in a blender with rest of the ingredients and making up a second bowl with pieces of chicken.

Each bowl was garnished with a mixture of caramelised onions and chickpeas, feta cheese and a sort of pesto made with parsley, dill, coriander and pistachio nuts

We ate it with bread made to look more interesting by punching the rising dough with a sharp knife.

In the week that we have been away the garden has expanded. The trees are now overhanging with green leaves and every bed is drunk with bluebells.

At the end of the garden the laburnum is about to burst into yellow against the yew tree through which it has grown. There is no greater sense of time moving on as there is now. A few weeks ago I was talking about the first days of spring and now the daffodils are almost gone, each flowering lasts only a brief moment before being taken over by another. By the time the laburnum is over we will be into midsummer and the dahlias that I potted a few weeks ago will be coming into flower.

In the meantime the rudder is brooding and propped up in out hall waiting for me to find something to do with it.

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