Food from the Middle East has been a vegetarian and vegan staple for a long time and with good reason. Vegan classics like Falafel (and who doesn’t LOVE falafel?) originate there, and their bold use of flavour is an inspiration to plant-based cooks the world over who can’t rely on meat to create flavour. It was inevitable that Natalie would be fascinated by Persian food and that we’d offer a Persian themed menu. This blog post is the latest in a series we’re writing which give an idea of what to expect when you stay with us. The detail changes constantly, depending what’s in season, what’s been inspiring Natalie that week and requests we get from customers, but it gives a good sense of what we’re about.
Natalie often does Falafel as a starter. Everyone’s eaten falafel, but it’s surprisingly difficult to do well. After a lot of experimentation with different recipes, different spice mixtures and ingredients from different sources, Natalie’s arrived at a recipe which she’s happy with. The flavour and texture are both superb and take this classic dish to a new level. She’s been known to experiment with new forms of falafel; a particularly good one included beetroot. The purists might sneer, but the flavour combination is inspired and we love it.
The main course is all about flavour combinations. Each component works well in its own right and some would work as appetizers, but what I love about this is how it all works together. The dish is held together by my home-made roasted pepper sauce flavoured with harissa. For example I include honey and cumin roasted carrots, aubergine rolls filled with pomegranite and toasted walnut and Persian spiced rice. The sweetness of the carrots, the earthiness of the rice and tanginess of the aubergine rolls all work wonderfully together and are complimented by the pepper sauce. All these components make for a lot of work, but it’s worth it when I see the smiles on diners’ faces and their empty plates.
My go-to dessert is Eastern Mess, a twist on the British classic Eton Mess, made with rosewater infused cream, berries, crumbled meringue, pomegranate and pistachios. It’s totally inauthentic, but it’s a wonderful dish inspired by middle-eastern flavours, so I make no apology for it!
*(for our vegan guests the meringues will be made from aquafaba)…
So there you go, our Persian menu. Get in touch if you want to try it!