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Sunday, March 20, 2011

persian spring bento

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
Dolmeh

 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!




28 comments:

Sarah said...

WOW!!
Absolutely gorgeous pictures! Love all the springflower photo's.
See my springflowers of this afternoon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/megamisan/

Your food-photo's make me hungry :S

Lyndsey said...

Oh how much fun you must of had! Happy Birthday to Jamison! Everything is so beautiful and exciting. I would love to visit visit a place like that...maybe someday. The spices look amazing and the eggs are wonderful. Love it all.

I did just put some goat cheese wrapped toasted walnuts in the freezer so I can bread them and fry them. I like the way you enjoyed yours with the cheese and bread.

Beautiful bento Jenn! Thanks for taking us along on another one of your ventures.

Bentobird said...

Hello Sarah! Thank you so much and I really enjoyed your new spring photos. Incredible pancake idea, am inspired to try :D

Bentobird said...

Hi Lyndsey, feeling so happy reading all your sweet comments! Those walnuts sound off the charts delish, hope we'll see them on Tiny Skillet! Wish you lived closer, we'd have a ton of fun checking out the many cool food cultures around these parts :D

Happy spring, my friend!

Azita said...

Great post! Love your Persian spring bento. Now that I'm inspired, I am giving this a try! If it turns out as good as I hope I'll post it very soon!

Bentobird said...

Aw, honored by your kind comments, Azita. Your blog is such an inspiration to me. I made your kookoo sabzi for dinner tonight and it was so good! Happy Nowruz!!

tatabonita (y-rahmasari) said...

Wow, you always show me new colors of international flavor to me Jenn, and I love it a lot :D. Wish I lived in your place so that I could learn huge varieties of world's food hehe ^^

Edible Art said...

fun pictures,
the food makes me want to go out ot MY nearest persian market and indulge. Mmmm..

Sarah said...

Thanks so much for the comments, glad you liked it!
I'm curious to find out what you did with the pancake, but trust me it's delicious :D
Oeh I can smell 'em allready!

Angeleyes said...

Oh wow! I am lost for words!!!
These Persian goodies are really interesting Jenn!
How I wish we can find such interesting stuff selling here!

Those puffs and pastries are making me drool! :P

And not forgetting your beautiful bento consisting of the goodies!

Bentobird said...

Hi Ta, it would be soooo fun, as we've said, to hang out, cook and take pictures of things bright and yummy! Happy we get to share these inspirations long distance, at least :D

Wishing you a good week, buddy!

Bentobird said...

Hi Stephanie, that sounds great!

Bentobird said...

Super sweet comments, Angeleyes!! Thanks SO much, you are such a cool foodie pal. Have a great day ^^!

Robin said...

What a wonderful spring adventure and birthday celebration! I always learn something new from you friend. Never knew about Nowruz. How delightful to engage in a full blown cultural experience and not fly out of the country. Your beautiful photos and bento whisk us right along. Just perfect.

Bentobird said...

Dear Robin, thanks so much for flying along on this little journey! I had the best time visiting all these rich and delicious places, and sharing the experience makes it even more fun...:D

Happy spring!!

Sahel said...

It was a pleasure to have you dine in our restaurant. Thank you for your kind words about our restaurant and market. Look forward to seeing you again.

Bobo said...

Those are great pictures, Jenn. Thanks for sharing.. really.. you made my day..:P

karaimame said...

Aw Jenn, you always make my day showing so interesting places, food and nature! It really improves my moods.
The bento is perfect... and the colors... amazing.
Happy Spring!
(ps: lovely bento gear on ebay. thank you for your generosity!)

Bentobird said...

Thank you Sahel for such a memorable and wonderful dining experience at Yetka...we are looking forward to future visits!

Bentobird said...

Hi Bobo dear, you just made MY day with your kind words! Thank you :D

Bentobird said...

Hi Lilian! Awwww thanks, such a pleasure to share food and bento fun with you, I'm so glad you enjoyed these photos!

Happy Spring, especially beautiful to see signs of renewal in the far North?

Azita said...

Hi! I finally got around to making my Persian bentobox and posted the results on my blog! Thanks so much for your support and inspiration!
Azita

Bentobird said...

Hi there! Great job Azita, such a delicious bento, a delight to see, so full of springtime spirit :D! Congrats on your first bento, yay!!

Leila said...

I used to live in the Rockville area so these photos are a bit nostalgic for me. I see from your photos that the restaurant portion of Yekta has moved to the larger space next to it. In the old location there was a mural that covered the whole wall. I had assisted the artist with that mural a bit when I was a high school student. Next time I go to Rockville (which is soon to visit my family for Nowruz) I want to see how Yekta is setup now.

Bentobird said...

Hello Leila, thanks for sharing your interesting memories! How cool that you assisted with the mural. We had such a nice time visiting this restaurant--a really graceful and welcoming place with carefully made dishes.

babykins said...

wow tons of fantastic pictures! I really love ALL of them! So I have to come back here again to taste every single of them hehe.

Jenn, thank you for the emails. Are you and your hubby doing fine? We are all doing good here so don't worry about us :) It sounds like the spring has completely come over there. We're still having the cold winter weather. But I believe it's around the corner. ;)

Bentobird said...

helloooo Izumi! So good to hear from you, pal. Thanks, we are fine and I'm so happy to read you and family are doing well.

It will be really chilly for the next three days here, maybe even a little snow this weekend! But after, I'm sure spring will resume its bright green progress for us both!!
Talk to ya soon ^^

OhayoBento said...

Happy Spring to you too Jenn! I love your adventure posts. You have such a great awareness of your surroundings. I'm constantly impressed by how you translate what you see into amazing bento inspirations.