This week's recipe comes from the most amazing cookbook writer you might not know, Najmieh Batmanglij. Her classic Food of Life is my bible when it comes to Persian food, her recipe for ghormeh sabzi having once caused an Iranian dinner guest to start weeping in remembrance of his departed grandmother and her kitchen back home. True story; it doesn't only happen to the French.
This recipe for chickpea battered vegetable fritters comes from a different book, Silk Road Cooking, a vegetarian cookbook that traces the communication and exchange of culinary tropes along the centuries old byway from Asia to Europe. Like so many of Batmanglij's recipes, the whole here is more than the sum of its parts. Chickpea flour, a light-handed mix of a few spices, and zap, you're in Kansas no more. Earthiness, pungency, a hint of spice, all in harmonic balance. It's impossible, yet Batmanglij makes it easy.
For the vegetables themselves, let the produce aisle be your guide. That's what we've done below, adapting Batmanglij's list to what looked good at our local co-op. Whichever veggies you choose, get ready for a party size yield. Is it finally time to have a dozen friends over? Here's the appetizer to help toast old memories and inaugurate new ones.
Quinoa is a hearty, wholesome grain that's loaded with protein and minerals. It's also really versatile, and in this recipe we combine it with creamy goat cheese to make delectable fritters you can serve as an appetizer or salad topper. And fancy though they sound, 25 minutes and a few ingredients is all it takes.