That seems to be a take on the old, sweet song that’s playing lately, for several reasons.
At the ruins of Persepolis, the ancient ritual capital of the Persian Empire, archaeologists found inscribed stone tablets from as far back as 515 B.
C., which listed pantry staples of the early Iranians.
They included walnuts, poultry, and pomegranate preserves, the key ingredients in fesenjan." For the meatballs: 1 onion 2 pounds ground chicken, lamb, or beef (chicken was used for recipe testing) 7 ounces walnuts, finely chopped in a food processor (be careful not to grind them into a powder) 1 cup chopped fresh parsley 3 tablespoons good-quality bread crumbs 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin Freshly ground black pepper Kosher salt For the sauce: 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ teaspoon ground ginger 5 ounces walnuts, finely chopped 2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper, to taste ½ cup honey ½ cup pomegranate molasses (available at Middle Eastern markets) fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional fresh parsley for garnish, optional rice, for serving Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare the meatballs: Grate the onion on a coarse grater, and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the meat, walnuts, parsley, bread crumbs, olive oil, cumin, pepper, and salt. Form meatballs the size of a golf ball; transfer to the baking pan.
It commemorates the story of Queen Esther, who is credited with saving the Jews of Persia from the evil vizier Haman, who had plotted to exterminate them.
And, to complete the trifecta, in a recent interview with the website Food Republic, London-based cookbook author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi (Jerusalem, Plenty More) was asked where he would choose to travel if he had no constraints: “If I could go on a food adventure anywhere, it would be Iran.
I’ve never been able to travel there and am completely infatuated by the richness of Persian cuisine.” Noted for its use of rice, fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices, Persian cooking has been influenced over centuries by its proximity to Arab, European, and Asian countries.Iran is between the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman further south.It was an integral spot on the Silk Road trading route, in addition to having been overtaken at times by the Greek, Ottoman, and Mongol empires.Thus, Persian cooking has incorporated many other flavors into its uniquely delicious food traditions.You, too, will want to explore this fascinating cuisine even further once you try this fragrant, exotic dish of meatballs in a sweet-tart sauce.RECIPE Fesenjan (Meatballs in Walnut and Pomegranate Sauce) Food Republic says: "Fesenjan has a long pedigree.