There were a few regions of the world that were in the running for this label. Apart from the Middle Eastern portion of the globe, the Scandinavian Peninsula of Northern Europe and the north-western portion of Eastern Europe were the other main contenders. I wish that all regions of the world could have been presented in this gift set. However, the ingredient that caused this blend to weigh heavier on the Middle Eastern side of the scale, was the bright red, tart flavored berry from the Sumac shrub indigenous to Turkey, which lends itself perfectly to the herbs and spices that I wanted to use.
The presence of dill is the cornerstone of this blend. Dill is a delicate yet powerful herb. What I appreciate about dill in its dried form, is that its flavors awaken very easily. For a simple dish, simply toss sliced, cooked potatoes in a good olive oil, lemon juice, salt and chives, and the Persian Princess’ flavors will quickly impart their goodness. As time goes on, the aromatics deepen.
On the flip side, dill will burn quite easily. So, when pan searing a firm fish like salmon or mahi-mahi, dust the flesh with a good amount of the spices. Let it set for 15-20 minutes when possible and then place it in a buttered or oiled, heated pan on medium heat and allow it to gently cook for only about a minute or two or until the surface flesh becomes opaque. Then flip it over and place your pan in a heated oven at 375°- 400° and allow the fish to cook for about 10 minutes or until it’s fully opaque. My daughter loves when I add some capers and their juice to the pan before it goes in the oven. It adds a nice little pop of moisture and acidity which plays perfectly with the oily fish. The Persian Princess creates delicious overall flavor with very little effort.
If the flavors of this blend call you in the direction of a soup, pilaf or risotto, add this blend at the end of your cooking process. It doesn’t need heat, to be its best and too much heat, will quickly destroy the delicate herbs. It’s also a fun, gourmet addition to a summer picnic table as a seasoning salt. Just add a 1:1 ratio of Persian Princess to salt, place it in a funky spice shaker or tiny wooden bowl and your guests can season their dishes according to their individual taste!