cover image Sofreh: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Persian Cuisine

Sofreh: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Persian Cuisine

Nasim Alikhani. Knopf, $40 (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-32074-7

Iranian-born chef Alikhani imbues her debut cookbook with the rich flavors and modern sensibilities that make her Brooklyn restaurant, Sofreh, a dining destination. “These recipes carry the love I have for cooking,” she writes in the welcoming introduction, “and are inextricably linked to the love of my family, friends, and even the world at large.” Slivers of medjool dates and soft, turmeric-tinged onions enhance scrambled eggs, while ground walnuts thicken a piquant pomegranate sauce for spiced lamb patties, and a roast chicken is stuffed with a mouthwatering mix of herbs and dried fruits—like the author’s mother used to make. Accompanying the delicious recipes is a generous helping of commentary that promises excellent results. Among the handy tips: slipping a foil packet of toasted almonds into a pot so they’ll be the same temperature as the dish itself; candying barberries to add to savory polo, a layered rice dish; and stocking the pantry with different kinds of pomegranate molasses that range from tart to sweet. Alikhani also shares the secrets of her restaurant’s renowned Sofreh flatbread, and offers a recipe for warm eggplant dip to go with it. Home cooks will want to try it all. Agent: Janis Donnaud, Janis A. Donnaud and Assoc. (June)