As I have mentioned before, I am a great fan of Persian food. In this menu, I have mixed a Persian meatloaf with various other non-Persian dishes, just to show you how nicely Persian food can fit into most any menu.
Just in case you're wondering, I take all my own photos, usually immediately before we sit down to eat. They are not styled. This photo, in particular, doesn’t do justice to how delicious this meatloaf actually is. But it is the truth. Your dish will look very much like mine if you fix it.
1½ pounds ground beef or lamb or combination of the two
Note: It would also be possible to use ground turkey.
1 medium onion, grated in the food processor
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup finely chopped celery leaves
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 slice white bread, milk or water
Chopped parsley and sumac to garnish, optional
1. Soak the bread in water or milk while you do the next steps.
2. Use the food processor to grate the onion and then to chop the herbs. No need to wash out in between the two.
3. Put the meat in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients except the bread. Squeeze the bread dry in your hands and tear into pieces. Add to the meat mixture.
4. Mix the ingredients with your hands until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
5. Place in a loaf pan, or form into a round on a low-sided pan and bake for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and sumac before serving.
Some people I know and love eat this with ketchup or barbeque sauce. Others enjoy it with yogurt.
Adapted from Maideh Mazda’s In a Persian Kitchen
These two non-Persian dishes are delicious with the meatloaf.
Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella and Corn Salad with Basil
You can vary the amounts of these ingredients according to your taste and what you have on hand.