Eggplant Stew and Spinach Noodle Soup

Anytime I get an invitation for dinner at my in-laws, I get excited. You are so well fed there that you are guaranteed to leave satisfied.

Lately, I have not been going over there for dinner empty handed. I almost always bring my camera along with me, and the funny thing is is that my in-laws expect it now.

Dinner tonight was khoresh bademjan (eggplant stew), and ash-e-reshteh (spinach noodle soup). They are both delicious, and extremely good for you too. I have always loved the word badamjan (pronounced bod-um-joon). It was one of the first Persian words I ever learned, and it just rolls off my tongue.

To start, we had the spinach noodle soup. This is a hearty soup that is pretty much a meal in itself. Although it is very labor intensive, I do try to make this as much as possible in the winter time. I will be sure to post the recipe for this soon.

After that came the saffron rice that was served alongside the eggplant stew.

Persian rice always comes with tah-deeg. If I didn't stress it enough in my previous post, I'm going to stress it now. Tah-deeg is amazing. It is encrusted rice at the bottom of the pot. The picture below is potato tah-deeg: rice encrusted with potatoes. It tastes just like potato chips with a hint of saffron. It is a real treat!

This is the eggplant stew. Despite it looking very dark and heavy, this stew is actually extremely light and fresh in taste. I made this once for a dinner party, and everyone was surprised at how it tasted. They said it didn't look it, but it had a very refreshing tomato taste. This dish is usually garnished with fresh grape tomatoes and tiny, little pickled sour grapes.

For dessert, we had fruit salad and Persian raisin cookies with tea.

The fruit salad consisted of mangoes, blueberries, and pomegranate.
These Persian raisin cookies are very light, and low in fat. It is on my "must learn how to make" list.

With food being such a big part of their culture, my in-laws kept trying to feed me more food after all of this. They also had apple spice muffins and almond chocolate crisps, but I just didn't have the room.