Title: Pomegranates and Artichokes
Author: Saghar Setareh
Publisher: Murdoch Books
Publication Date: 4th May 2023
When Iranian writer and food photographer Saghar Setareh moved to Italy at the age of 22, she was enchanted by the rich food culture of her adopted country, and this inspired a curiosity in the cuisine of her homeland and the surrounding countries of the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean.
Pomegranates & Artichokes is the story of Saghar’s own culinary journey from Iran to Italy, in which she describes the many parallels that link Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food cultures, and shows how ingredients and recipes – unconstrained by borders – are shared and transformed through the immigrant experience.
Divided into three sections representing stops on Saghar’s culinary ‘road trip’ - Iran, In Between and Italy – this book features more than 80 recipes celebrating the foods of these regions. Among the highlights are a simple Iranian breakfast platter, a celebratory Persian feast, Sicilian-style stuffed artichokes, guinea hen braised with pomegranate, sweet-sour meatballs from Aleppo, a Roman ricotta and wild cherry pie and a velvety Middle Eastern milk pudding.
Illustrated with Saghar’s own beautiful photography, and peppered with personal insights and experiences, Pomegranates & Artichokes tells the story of two food cultures, and the delicious space in between.
I was really intrigued by the concept of Pomegranates and Artichokes – the melding of Iranian and Italian food and the story of the journey of the author from one to the other. It’s an absolutely stunning book to look at, with some of the loveliest food photography I’ve encountered in a cookbook. Every photo made me mouth-wateringly keen to try the recipe it depicted and the recipes I’ve tried so far have totally lived up to the photos!
I tried the Sweet Saffron Omelette which was so delicious and not something I would ever have thought to try. The saffron gave it a delicacy that I loved! Next I tried the Artichoke and Potato Salad (my attempt is pictured above), which was light, subtle and a perfect dish for summer. There are many recipes in each section of the book (Iran, In Between and Italy) that I can’t wait to try, especially some tempting desserts. I also love hearing of the author’s personal journey and her thoughts on the intersection of Iranian and Italian cuisine. Highly recommended to any food lover!
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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