A Bit of History
A small landlocked country with threatening borders, Armenia has always felt a close alliance to its Persian neighbor. While my childhood days of the mighty lion with sword in hand are long gone, political and religious differences are set aside and the friendship between Persians and Armenians continues to grow strong. As such, I am thrilled to have been invited to participate in the First International Mehregan Cyber-Feast featuring Persian food bloggers from around the world. I will be making Persian Olive Caviar. Be warned – this is addictive stuff.
Obey Your Cravings
Better known as Zeytoon Parvardeh which means “prepared olive,” it hails from the north-eastern tip of Iran close to where my grandmother was born. This spread is made of crave-worthy things that include green olives, walnuts, mint, pomegranate molasses, garlic.
The distinct flavor comes from a spice not so well known in the West. The label usually reads “Angelica,” but it’s Persian name is “golpar,” which means “rose petal.” It is native to mountainous regions of Iran. It has a very unique taste, maybe a bit peppery with something almost floral. You really have to taste it for yourself. Persian Basket has it for a good price and ships worldwide.
The seeds are ground to a powder and used for seasoning. One of the best ways to enjoy goflpar is sprinkled with salt over steamed lima beans, which brings back a wonderful memory.
I remember a big family gathering at my aunt’s villa in the country town of Karaj. The long, rectangular ranch house sat in the middle of a large field with all sorts of fruit trees and vegetables. Someone came out of the kitchen with a big bowl of steamed lima beans picked earlier from the garden. Dad and I sat there together, enjoying them.
Persian Olive Caviar (Zeytoon Parvardeh)
Makes 1 cup
1 cup best quality green olives
3Tb pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup walnuts
See what my foodie friends made for this ancient celebration of the Autumn equinox:
Ahu Eats: Badoom Sookhte Torsh | Sour Caramelized Almonds
All Kinds of Yum: Jeweled Carrot Salad
Bottom of the Pot: Broccoli Koo Koo (Frittata)
Cafe Leilee: Northern Iranian Pomegranate Garlic and Chicken Stew
Della Cucina Povera: Ghormeh Sabzi | Persian Lamb & Herb Stew
Fae’s Twist & Tango: Rice Meatballs | Kufteh Berenji
Family Spice: Khoreshteh Kadoo | Butternut Squash Stew
Fig & Quince: Festive Persian Noodle Rice & Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Yummies for Mehregan
Honest and Tasty: Loobia Polo | Beef and Green Bean Rice
Lab Noon: Adas Polo Risotto | Persian Lentils Risotto
Lucid Food: Sambuseh
Marjan Kamali: Persian Ice Cream with Rosewater and SaffronMy Caldron: Anaar-Daneh Mosamma | Pomegranate Stew
My Persian Kitchen: Keshmesh Polow | Persian Raisin RiceNoghlemey: Parsi DalParisa’s Kitchen: Morasa Polow | Jeweled RicePersianSpice: Fall in Love with Autumn
Sabzi: Ash-e-Mast (Yogurt Soup with Meatballs)
The Saffron Tales: Jashn-e Mehrgan – Iranian Autumn Harvest Festival
Simi’s Kitchen: Lita Turshisi | Torshi-e Liteh | Tangy aubergine pickleSpice Spoon: Khoresht-e-bademjaan | Aubergine Stew
Turmeric & Saffron: Ash-a Haft Daneh | Seven Bean SoupThe Unmanly Chef: Baghali Polow ba Mahicheh | Rice with Fave Beans and Lamb
ZoZoBaking: Masghati | Persian Scented Starch Fudge
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