This Persian Cheese plate (sabzi khordan) is simple, yet fancy enough for entertaining. It’s not a secret that we have admiration for the food of different cultures. This Persian cheese plate is definitely an embodiment of why. The ingredients are simple and sound a little unusual together, but they are magic when combined.
An old dear co-worker of mine is from Iran, and she was my introduction into Persian food. I first learned about this combination of flavors through her. For lunch, she would combine feta and bunches of fresh herbs (still on the stem) rolled into a flour tortilla. I must admit I thought it was very odd, until I tasted it. The sharp creamy feta with grassy fresh herbs are wonderful together! The tortilla was just a conduit for the strong flavors. Needed though, because it rounds out and tones down all the ingredients. That memory and taste is forever ingrained in my brain.
Some time later after that experience, Phil and I went to a Persian restaurant, and we were served a cheese plate with feta, mint, flatbread, radishes, and walnuts. I immediately understood why my co-worker combined those flavors for her lunch. The addition of walnuts add another crunch and substance that you just don’t get from the radishes. Also, the flavor of walnuts pairs so well with the feta and mint. Each ingredient on the cheese plate added something to the overall experience. Mint, you would think would be odd with the other ingredients, but it is so refreshing with the feta. The radishes are sharp, slightly spicy, and also refreshing. These ingredients are a major complement to the creamy pungent feta and the bread is the vehicle! We like to take a piece of flatbread, spread it with feta, top with a few mint leaves and a walnut and wrap it all together, taking bites of radishes in between our “sandwich.”
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 bunch radishes, tops removed and sliced into quarters or thirds depending on the size
- 1 large bunch fresh mint
- 8 ounces flat bread or pita, cut into wedges
- 7 ounces sheep's feta
- Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Allow to cool.
- On a large platter arrange the cut radishes, mint, flat bread, feta, and walnuts. Serve.
Here are some other middle eastern inspired recipes.