Persian Rice with Pomegranate and Dates

This classic dish of the Iranian region combines tender rice with crunchy bits, juicy pomegranates, and chewy dates. Add meat or serve vegetarian.
Persian_Rice

Ingredients:

2 C long-grain rice (rinsed well)
4 C water
2 T unsalted butter, melted
2 T olive oil
1/2 C plain yogurt
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. saffron, ground and added to 1 T hot water
1/4 C Markon First Crop Mint, chopped
2 T Markon First Crop Dill, chopped
1/2 C pomegranate seeds
1/4 C dates, chopped

Instructions:

In a large skillet with a tightly fitting top, boil rice in several cups of water for ten minutes. Drain and pat skillet dry. Add butter and oil, coating entire bottom of skillet. Add one thin layer of rice to the bottom, pressing firmly.
Mix remaining rice with yogurt, salt, saffron liquid, mint, dill, pomegranate, and dates; combine well. Pile on top of rice layer in skillet. Cover with lid, using a towel to seal any air holes if necessary (take care this does not come near flames). Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Do not remove lid! Decrease heat to low and cook 20 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool for five minutes. Loosen rice around the edges and bottom and carefully flip onto a serving plate.
Garnish with more herbs, fruits, and edible flowers.

Ingredients:

1 bunch Markon First Crop Asparagus, steamed

1/4 C Markon First Crop Basil

2 T Markon First Crop Chervil

2 T C Ready-Set-Serve Lemon Juice

2 cloves Ready-Set-Serve Peeled Garlic

1 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. coriander

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

16 large shrimp, cleaned and threaded onto skewers to prevent curling

1 tsp. kosher salt

Olive oil + 2 cloves Ready-Set-Serve Peeled Garlic, for poaching

Edible petals and micro greens for garnish

Instructions:

Slice tips off asparagus and reserve. Add basil, chervil, one cup steamed asparagus stalks, lemon juice, zest, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper flakes, and oil to a food processor and blend until chunky.

Heat oil and garlic until just bubbling. Add shrimp skewers so that shrimp is fully submerged. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until shrimp is opaque and cooked through. When shrimp are almost cooked, add asparagus tips. Remove all with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack.

To plate, arrange tips in a decorative manner. Place shrimp next to asparagus and ladle sauce on top of each one. Garnish with edible petals and micro greens.