Book Size: 9.75in x 7.5in

Pages: 288

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623717407

Imprint: Interlink Books

Illustrations: Full-color photos

Release date: Summer 2023

Category:

Pomegranates and Artichokes

A Food Journey from Iran to Italy

By

$ 35

Library Journal Best Book of 2023

“Inspired by her time living in Iran and Italy, food writer and photographer Saghar Setareh explores the similarities between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. In over 80 recipes, this cookbook celebrates the culinary heritage of both countries while reflecting on her own experiences as an immigrant.” —BookRiot’s Most Anticipated Cookbooks of 2023

“[A] fascinating and deeply personal debut recipe collection, which evinces warm feelings about both locales while also training a clear eye on the experience of being foreign in Italy … Setareh elegantly spins a web of connections … Gorgeous photography throughout enhances the experience. Setareh’s thoughtful tone and generosity of spirit make this well worth a look.”
— Publishers Weekly

 

About this book

From photographer and food writer Saghar Setareh comes a cookbook full of rich new recipes that show how ingredients and recipes–unconstrained by borders–are shared and transformed through the immigrant experience.

When Iranian writer and food photographer Saghar Setareh moved to Italy at the age of 22, she was enchanted by the rich food culture of her adopted country, and this inspired a curiosity in the cuisine of her homeland and the surrounding countries of the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean. Pomegranates and Artichokes is the story of Saghar’s own culinary journey from Iran to Italy, in which she describes the many parallels that link Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food cultures, and shows how ingredients and recipes–unconstrained by borders–are shared and transformed through the immigrant experience. 

Divided into three sections representing stops on Saghar’s culinary “road trip”­–Iran, In Between, and Italy–this book features more than 80 recipes celebrating the foods of these regions. Among the highlights are a simple Iranian breakfast platter, a celebratory Persian feast, Sicilian-style stuffed artichokes, guinea hen braised with pomegranate, sweet–sour meatballs from Aleppo, a Roman ricotta and wild cherry pie, and a velvety Middle Eastern milk pudding. 

Illustrated with Saghar's own beautiful photography and peppered with personal insights and experiences, Pomegranates and Artichokes tells the story of two food cultures, and the delicious space in between. 

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About the author

Saghar Setareh was born in Tehran and moved to Rome in 2007 to study at the Fine Art Academy. She has a popular food and photography blog, Lab Noon and has contributed to Food52, Conde Nast Traveller, and National Geographic. Alongside working as a professional photographer, Saghar runs Persian and Italian cooking classes in cities across Italy. She was among Corriere della Sera’s selection of “50 Women of Food” in 2020.

Reviews

“Inspired by her time living in Iran and Italy, food writer and photographer Saghar Setareh explores the similarities between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. In over 80 recipes, this cookbook celebrates the culinary heritage of both countries while reflecting on her own experiences as an immigrant.” —BookRiot’s Most Anticipated Cookbooks of 2023
 

“With her debut cookbook Pomegranates and Artichokes: Recipes and Memories of a Journey From Iran to Italy, Saghar Setareh guides us on a spirited and soulful culinary journey. Setareh’s stunning photography casts a warm light on the true essence of the people and cuisine of each region. This is not a cookbook lost in the nostalgia of a bygone era, but an invitation to Setareh’s table firmly planted in the here and now. And what a delicious table it is. I can’t wait to get cooking from this beautiful cookbook!” —Naz Deravian author of Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories

“Quite possibly the most beautiful cookbook I have ever seen.” —Caroline Eden

“Pomegranates and Artichokes is a cookbook, a travelogue, and a master’s class in foodways. As seen through Saghar Setareh’s transition from her childhood in Iran to her adulthood in Italy, three distinct regions—Iran, the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean, and Italy—form a Venn diagram that transforms the monolith of food culture into a gradient of discoveries and felicitous reinterpretations, tracing the movements and mingling of people into a common language: deliciousness. Setareh’s experiences give her the ability to perceive this world that’s hiding in plain sight: one where people ebb and flow across borders, and cultural distinctions are merely ingredients in a recipe that spans time and place. One of the book’s best examples of regional cross-pollination is the eggplant. Setareh notes that it is a prized ingredient in all three cultures—introduced to Italy by Arabs in the Middle Ages and initially disliked. Today, it’s the base of eggplant parmigiana, a recipe that bears more than a passing resemblance to Turkish Imam bayildi. By way of the Levant’s baba ghanoush, it becomes a cousin of the Iranian dish mirza ghasemi. Although technically very different dishes, ‘what brings them together … are the ingredients and cooking methods that have migrated through these territories over centuries, appearing in different forms and with different condiments.’ A delight for the senses, Pomegranates and Artichokes‘s photographs are jewel-toned images of abundant tables, finished dishes, and phenomenal cultural backdrops. Setareh also uses space, as with the recipes’ headnotes, as a place to muse on personal identity—a territory that transcends concepts of singularity or nationality. Whether she’s discussing the origin of an ingredient or the invisible lives of migrants, her intellectual curiosity chips away at the idea of rigid barriers and borders.”—Foreword Reviews, starred rewiew

“[A] fascinating and deeply personal debut recipe collection, which evinces warm feelings about both locales while also training a clear eye on the experience of being foreign in Italy … Setareh elegantly spins a web of connections … Gorgeous photography throughout enhances the experience. Setareh’s thoughtful tone and generosity of spirit make this well worth a look.”
— Publishers Weekly

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