Hello bento pals--happy spring! I've been exploring some wonderful Persian shops and restaurants this week, inspired by the Persian celebration of Nowruz marking the first day of spring. This holiday of spring renewal, healthy feasting and color offers a beautiful way to celebrate the new season of light and flowers.
Azita of Turmeric and Saffron has shared some amazing images, recipes and reflections on the Persian New Year celebration at her always lovely blog, do have a look!
Also highly recommended: two exciting resources for Persian baked goods, groceries and culinary inspiration in the Washington DC area: Nemooneh Bakery in Chantilly was a delight--bright, well organized and so fun to browse.
Bright green pistachios:
Jewel-like sweets including varieties of baklava that were new to me...
Amazing rose-cashew baklava!
Very fresh almond scented marzipan in soft spring colors...
Meanwhile, at the newly opened Sauson and Kamron Market in Ashburn,Virginia an exciting assortment of baked treats and spices fill its cavernous space...
The charming owner of this shop offered us tea and cookies as we chatted about his visions for the shop and its future restaurant...
Jamison's birthday was on Friday, and we were excited to try Yetka, a Rockville, Maryland favorite for Persian dining. It was a wonderful experience: a leisurely late lunch with warm and articulate service and a bright assortment of beautiful dishes.
Nan-o Panir-o Sabzi
A view of the feast by Jamison, including Shislick Kabob with tender grilled lamb chops
Fresh herbs, walnuts, tangy cheese and lavash: a perfect pairing!
Persian rice (chelow) with fresh herbs and saffron, grilled rockfish:
Aged garlic, sweet and full of deep flavor wowed us both:
Heavenly house-made saffron-pistachio ice cream
Yetka's lovely Haft-Sin arrangement
Next door, the Yetka Market...
In this same shopping center is the friendly and attractive housewares shop Dorsa, overflowing with flowers, sprouted wheat, hand painted eggs and other spring delights:
Sabzeh, sprouted wheat grass
Exuberant colors and the sparkle of spring's arrival reflected in Dorsa's Haft-Sin display:
Back home...pastries and sweets and a Persian inspired spring bento!
Yetka's lovely green herb and saffron rice is layered with fresh basil, dill, parsley, scallion, garlic blossoms. Grilled rockfish, lavash, goat cheese and radish also for lunch, along with sweet treats of marzipan, jam-heart cookie and green grapes:
Happy spring, bento friends!