This week, Louisa Shafia is serving as a Guest Editor at Food52. She chose a Wildcard winner, answered your questions on the Hotline, and is continuing to share recipes from her new book, The New Persian Kitchen -- because your kitchen deserves a taste of the exotic every once in a while.
This salad takes inspiration from China, Iran’s Silk Road trading partner, and the source of many Persian ingredients, including sesame seeds. You’ll find similar salads in places like Uzbekistan, where the cuisines of Iran and China intermingle in delicious ways. I love using this salad as a topping for sandwiches like the Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers, or for falafel, banh mi, or even a simple tuna sandwich. It makes a fresh, crunchy counterpoint to richer foods, so you could serve this with the Lamb Kebabs and the Sweet Rice for a beautifully balanced meal.
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If you don’t want to bother peeling your carrots into long, graceful ribbons, use a mandoline to cut them into matchsticks or simply grate them in a food processor. Marinate the salad for a few hours before serving to let the nutty toasted sesame oil infuse the carrots.
I'm fascinated by the way food connects us with different times, places, and each other. I live in Nashville, TN, a city rich with culinary traditions and a fast growing immigrant population. As Culinary Liaison for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, I organize events that unite people around food and spotlight the work of immigrant chefs. My cookbook The New Persian Kitchen is a winner of Food52's Piglet award. I love cooking Iranian rice and hearing people crunch on the crispy tahdig from the bottom of the pot. Find my Persian Rice Bonnet and Persian Spice Kit on my website and on Etsy.