Shami

Shami (pronounced shah-MEE) is a tasty Persian finger food. It is traditionally made with split peas, but I use red lentils instead because they cook quicker. Enjoy!

3/4 c. dried red lentils
1 small potato, peeled and quartered
1 pound ground beef
3/4 t. salt
1 egg
1 small onion, grated
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 t. advieh spice* (if you don’t have this, use a pinch of saffron + a pinch of tumeric)
1/4 c. flour
2 T. oil

*Advieh is a Persian spice that is a blend of various spices: cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, rose petals, saffron, and ginger.

1. Boil the red lentils and potato together until cooked through. Drain.

2. Combine all ingredients and mix well until fully combined.

3. Take a golf ball sized amount of the mixture and gently roll in flour. Press the ball into a patty. Over medium heat, fry the patty in oil until brown and crispy on both sides.

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Serve with raw sliced onion and sumac.

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Roasted Butternut and Acorn Squash Medley

One of my favorite fall/winter foods is butternut squash; I also recently discovered acorn squash, which is also delicious. This dish celebrates both of those and lets their flavors shine. Again, this is a recipe that can be adjusted to your tastes. Here is what I threw together:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
2 acorn squash, washed, seeded, cubed
1/4 c. barley
1/4 c. wild rice
1 c. chicken broth
1.5 c. chickpeas, cooked
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. fresh thyme
1 c. coarsely chopped nuts of choice (toasted walnuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts work great)
1/2 c. gruyere cheese, cubed (optional)
olive oil
salt
pepper

1. Lay the squash pieces on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash in a 400 degree oven for approximately one hour, or until tender and starting to slightly brown.

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2. Meanwhile, cook the barley and wild rice in the chicken broth until tender, approximately 1 hour.

3. In a large bowl or serving dish, gently mix together all of the ingredients: nuts, thyme, parsley, chickpeas, barley, wild rice, and squash.

Enjoy!

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