My friend Oso came down from Washington D.C. to visit for a week and brought the gift of Barberries (Berberis Vulgaris) with him.
He had mentioned that a friend of his invited him to dinner, and had made the most wonderful Persian rice dish with the berries, so I set out to see if I could find a good recipe.
After Googling for a minute, I found a great blog named My Persian Kitchen, which had the rice recipe, known as Zereshk Polow, I was looking for. It also had another recipe for a chicken dish that went well with it.
Zereshk is the dry version of the berries and requires you to soak them for about 10 minutes. I happened to have fresh berries and just omitted this step.
The recipe is wonderful. The berries are tart like cranberries, but have a very nice flavor mixed with the rice. The rice takes a little while to cook, but the recipe is simple and straight forward. I used basmati rice which held up well to an hours worth of cooking.
As for the chicken, I used 1/4C of the lemon juice and it was perfect.
The colors in this dish are spectacular. The red berries against the yellow chicken really POP on your plate!
If you don’t live near a large city with international markets, or have a wonderful friend like mine, then you can order such items online.
Give some new recipes a try, and let me know how they work!
I think I have a new favorite type of food to cook!