Good morning. It’s Nowruz, the celebration of spring equinox observed in Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and beyond. We have recipes to celebrate the season and to celebrate the holiday alike.
For The Times, Naz Deravian explored the pleasures of cooking for Nowruz across the Afghan diaspora, with recipes for sabzi (above), a spinach and lamb stew; challaw, basmati rice with cardamom and cumin; and haft mewa, “seven fruits” in Persian, a fragrant compote of fruit and nuts. I’d like to give those a try today, though if time gets away from me and it’s impossible, this recipe for spring minestrone with kale and pasta nicely evokes the time of year.
As for the rest of the week …
Yasmin Fahr has a terrific new recipe for creamy, lemony pasta with scallions that provides a fast lesson in how to use thick yogurts — Greek or labneh or skyr — to produce a quick hot pasta meal that’s light and refreshing.
Set up this Guinness beef stew in the slow cooker at the start of the day, and you can knock out the horseradish cream that goes with it right before dinner. A simple roux leaves you with a hearty gravy rather than a watery soup. It’s incredible.
I love this creamy and substantial chickpea salad with fresh herbs and scallions as an easy weeknight dinner, with warm pita and splashes of hot sauce. And leftovers make for a terrific lunch the next day: “I added red onions, red bell pepper and sliced boiled eggs,” one subscriber noted beneath the recipe. “The salad was delicious on the first day. I refrigerated the leftovers and OMG the next day the salad was AWESOME.”
Sticky coconut chicken and rice is a comforting one-pot meal with incredible texture thanks to the softened roasted cashews strewn through the gingery rice. Weeknight perfection.
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Now, it’s a far cry from crab meat and huckleberries, but I think you’ll enjoy this mysterious accounting, by Tal McThenia in Audubon Magazine, of the lives of two birding enthusiasts at the start of the 20th century.
I hope you’ll sign up here for our latest newsletter, by Nikita Richardson, “Where to Eat: New York City,” devoted to the restaurants of our hometown. Starting March 22, she’ll put you onto your next great restaurant meal every week. (Note that it’s only available to Times news subscribers — but right now anyone can sign up to try it for four weeks.)
For Stranger’s Guide, Wole Soyinka wrote about his lifetime in Lagos, and it’s a joy to read.
Finally, here’s a new track from Destroyer, “June.” Listen to that while you’re cooking, and I’ll be back on Monday.