Persian pilaf and toasted root breads

Discover the tantalizing flavors of our Persian pilaf and toasted root breads. Treat yourself to the lively combination of roasted pistachios, perfectly complemented by a delicately honeyed pomegranate and harissa tomato sauce. Whether served as a single serving or as an eye-catching centerpiece, these breads are sure to impress. With its bright colors and delicious aroma, this recipe is guaranteed to be a showstopper at any gathering. Immerse yourself in the rich and authentic flavors of this Persian-inspired dish that will leave you wanting more.

Ingredients

  • 200g carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2cm pieces
  • 200g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced like carrots
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and diced like the carrots
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus some for greasing
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 225g paella rice
  • 550-600 ml vegetable stock
  • 100g dried apricots, diced
  • 400g canned chickpeas, drained – optional (good for filling the mixture if you want to feed another mouth)
  • 150 g peeled pistachios
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 500g cup of Greek yogurt for serving
  • Couscous and green salad to serve
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 500g cardboard passata
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 500g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed
  • 500g young beetroot
  • 250-300g small shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 150g pomegranate seeds

Tip

Here’s how to present it as a whole loaf

Prepare the loaf mixture as above at the beginning of step 4, but when mixing the ingredients, stir in only two-thirds of the roasted vegetables and once mixed, press the mixture into a large, greased and lined 900g loaf tin. Cover with foil and bake at the above temperature for one hour, then turn it upside down and top with reserved vegetables, pistachios and apricots.

Preparation steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Mix the carrot pieces, sweet potato and parsnip with 2 tablespoons of oil on a baking tray.
  3. Roast in the oven until golden brown and tender – about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the last tablespoon of oil to a deep frying pan or saute pan along with the onion and fry gently for about 8-10 minutes to soften.
  5. Stir in the saffron and rice, then add the broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the rice is at a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the broth is just absorbed, 25 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cinnamon, coriander, both types of cumin and the chopped apricots and remove from the heat.
  8. Let cool together with the roasted vegetables.
  9. Roughly chop the pistachios.
  10. Grease 8 small loaf pans with a little oil.
  11. Cut long strips of baking paper to line the bottom and ends of each tin.
  12. Place the cooled rice in a large mixing bowl and mix with the beaten eggs with salt and pepper.
  13. If necessary, sprinkle chickpeas, roasted vegetables and 100 g pistachios on top and fold in.
  14. Divide the mixture between the loaf tins and neatly round the edges with your hands.
  15. The breads can now be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking.
  16. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a pot with a little salt and pepper.
  17. Simmer for 20 minutes until thickened and rich.
  18. This can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  19. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 an hour before serving.
  20. Mix carrots, beetroot, shallots and oil in a large roasting pan and season with some spices.
  21. Roast on the upper rack for 15 minutes, while heating an empty baking tray on the lower rack.
  22. Stir the cumin, pomegranate molasses, orange juice and zest into the vegetables and place back on the top rack.
  23. Place the Persian rice breads on the preheated tray and bake for another 30 minutes.
  24. Finally, stir the pomegranate seeds into the vegetables and swap the shelves so that the bread can lie on top for the last 5 minutes and cook.
  25. In the meantime, heat the sauce slightly.
  26. Carefully lift the loaves from the tin onto a plate and sprinkle them with the last 50g of chopped pistachios and a few coriander leaves.
  27. Let guests help themselves by tossing the Persian breads in a pool of tangy tomato sauce – with a spoonful of roasted pomegranate roots, couscous, lettuce leaves and Greek yogurt.

Nutritional Information

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Persian pilaf and toasted root breads

Persian pilaf and toasted root breads

Ingredients

  • 200g carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2cm pieces
  • 200g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced like carrots
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and diced like the carrots
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus some for greasing
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 225g paella rice
  • 550-600 ml vegetable stock
  • 100g dried apricots, diced
  • 400g canned chickpeas, drained – optional (good for filling the mixture if you want to feed another mouth)
  • 150g peeled pistachios
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • 500g cup of Greek yogurt for serving
  • To serve with couscous and green salad
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 500g cardboard passata
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 500g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed
  • 500g young beetroot
  • 250-300g small shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Zest 1 orange and juice it
  • 150g pomegranate seeds

Equipment and tools

To make Persian Pilaf and Toasted Root Breads you will need the following:

  • Large loaf pan (900g)
  • Thwart
  • Large mixing bowl
  • sheet
  • Knife
  • peeler
  • cutting board
  • measuring spoon
  • measuring cup
  • Fork

Allergen information

This recipe may contain the following allergens:

  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts (pistachios)
  • Wheat (paella rice)

Storage and leftovers

Store leftover Persian pilaf and toasted root breads in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They last up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Health Benefits of Persian Pilaf and Toasted Root Breads

Persian pilaf and toasted root breads are not only delicious but also full of health benefits. This flavorful dish combines aromatic spices, nutrient-dense vegetables and wholesome ingredients into a nutritious meal. Let’s look at some of the health benefits offered by the main ingredients of this recipe:

1. Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for maintaining good vision, boosting immune function and promoting healthy skin. Carrots also provide fiber, which aids digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

2. Sweet potatoes

Similar to carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and offer numerous health benefits. They provide fiber, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes, meaning they cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly.

3. Parsnips

Parsnips are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is crucial for supporting the immune system and promoting collagen production for healthy skin. Additionally, the fiber content in parsnips supports digestive health and prevents constipation.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil, commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, is known for its heart-healthy properties. It contains monounsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol and maintain heart health. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, which have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body.

5. Saffron

In addition to adding vibrant color and distinct flavor to dishes, saffron also offers antioxidant properties. It is believed to have a mood-enhancing effect and may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

6. Cumin

Cumin seeds contain beneficial plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Additionally, cumin can aid digestion and promote weight loss by boosting metabolism.

7. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber and iron. Including it in your diet can help promote satiety, maintain stable blood sugar levels, and support a healthy digestive system.

8. Pistachios

Pistachios are nutrient-dense nuts that are rich in healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants. They have been shown to improve heart health, lower cholesterol, and help with weight control when consumed in moderation.

9. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, essential for maintaining strong bones and muscles. It also contains probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome.

By incorporating Persian pilaf and toasted root breads into your diet, you’ll reap a range of health benefits while enjoying the delicious flavors and textures of this exquisite dish. It’s the perfect choice for anyone looking to nourish their body with healthy, flavorful ingredients.

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