Savory Sweet Seduction

Many moons ago,

a Persian maiden had to think quickly.

Arabian Nights by René Milot

Arabian Nights by René Milot

Versed in literature and poetry, she wove enchanting tales all night long,

her husband held blissfully captive,

entranced,

begging her for more.

But always, at dawn,

she left him.

This spared her life for another night.

Her king, you see, so wounded by love

sought revenge 

in the form of taking a new wife each day,

and sending her to her death.

But this smart kitten beguiled with her tales,

for many nights.

1001 to be exact.

In which time he fell hopelessly, 

deeply in love,

evermore,

saving not only her life,

but the lives of countless other women.

I imagine her seducing him with her mesmerizing words,

her glance,

her fire,

and perhaps offering a late supper

of sensual jewels...

This exotic and gorgeously scented Armenian dish was originally from Persia, where savories combined with fruit were adored. Made with bulgur, this was undoubtedly quite hearty. I decided to Vixen-ize it by making it vegan, swapping the bulgur for cauliflower, and adding vegetables.

My Doves, this is soooo good.

I'm serious. 

Never have I tasted anything quite this delicious. The layers of flavors, the depth of fragrance, the textures...pure bliss. I made a test recipe-plenty for two-and devoured the whole thing. I just couldn't stay away.

Try this.

Scheherazade's Jewels

  • 1 head organic cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 organic zucchini (courgette), thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1/4 C raw slivered almonds
  • 1/4 C raw walnuts
  • 1/4 C.dried apricots, unsweetened
  • 1/4 C organic raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4-1/2 C Turkish figs, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • Pomegranate juice, unsweetened
  • Organic ground cinnamon
  • Vegan butter (flax/olive oil, preferably)
  • Olive oil
  • Celtic salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot, melt about 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter on a very soft flame, but only for a few moments...then add in the garlic, and allow it to awaken, until it turns translucent and its perfume begins to fill the air. Place the cardamom pods in...one, two, three...visualize being taken away by tales of adventure, by a lantern's flickering light, nestled down into satin pillows. Let the pods dance for about a minute, then in goes the cauliflower. Give it all a luscious stir, cover, and cook gently on a very low heat. 

In a heated skillet pan, spiral some little olive oil and a little more vegan butter in. Let it heat up, just a bit. Listen.

Now toss in the almonds and walnuts, allowing them to brown. Add the dried fruit, and sauté some more. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top as they all cook. If it starts to look dry, add a touch more oil. When they've mingled, add in the zucchini. 

Now check your cauliflower. Things should be heating up nicely in la Cucina right about now.

As the zucchini begins to soften and caramelize, add a good splash of the pomegranate juice in -sizzle!-and stir it some more. Cover again and let it go until your cauliflower in the next pot is tender. 

One good Pinch-N-Grind (salt and pepper) just before you plate it, and you're there...

Darlings, this is really the kind of food to be savored, slowly and with full abandon, completely in the moment. If you make it at another time of year, it is even more exquisite with fresh apricots and figs, but for now, I absolutely dare you to find a headier dish.

Nestle in the cushions as the aroma of fills the air.

Let each bite linger on your tongue.

Feed your mind,

your soul,

your senses...

Come.

Tell me a story,

won't you, 

Beasties?

xxx Alise