Mast-o-Taher (Persian Yogurt with Wilted Leeks, Grapes and Walnuts)

Recipe courtesy Naomi J. Mobed

Leek Preparation:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 medium-large leeks (2 cups raw juliened/shredded leeks)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sugar
Sea salt / fresh black pepper – to taste

Yogurt Preparation:
½ cup toasted walnuts (plus, ¼ halves to decorate)
800 grams full fat natural yogurt
2 finely chopped rounds of spring onions
Min. ½ cup chopped dried plums, Le Bon Magot® Spiced Raisin Marmalata with Ras al-Hanout (drained) or whole champagne grapes
1 ½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon dried mint (plus, 1/8 teaspoon to decorate)
3-4 finely chopped tarragon sprigs
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sumac for dusting on top of prepared yogurt
1 teaspoon dried rose petals to decorate
Sea salt / fresh black pepper – to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Spread the walnuts in a small cake pan and toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool and then chop coarsely.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in frying pan, soften leeks and add garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Once softened but still green, remove from heat.

In a small bowl, hand whip the yogurt until smooth, add all ingredients, including cooled leeks, mix well.

To decorate the top of the yogurt:

  • Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil (optional)

  • Coarsely chop half of the ¼ cup of walnuts. Using a Microplane, finely shave the rest and sprinkle

  • Dust reserved dried mint

  • Dust sumac

  • Sprinkle dried rose petals

Serve in individual or single bowl.

Variations: To get a taste of soured Persian yogurt, replace 800 grams full fat natural yogurt with 400 grams of full fat yogurt, 200 grams of Greek yogurt and 200 grams of crème fraiche. To thin yogurt, add ice or chilled water and bring to desired consistency.

Notes: If preparing ahead, add walnuts just before serving to maintain density and crunch. Quantities are guidelines and can be adjusted to personal taste.

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