For the second installation of the pop-up dinner series, I'm switching up some of the appetizers, main courses and desserts. I will be introducing a sumac-infused labneh dip as part of the appetizer course. Sumac is a tart and savory dried berry that is lovingly used in many Persian/Iranian/Turkish and other regions of the Middle East/South Asia. Labneh is yogurt that has been strained to remove its whey, resulting in a thicker consistency than unstrained yogurt, while preserving yogurt's distinctive, sour taste.
For the main entrees, I will offer both meat and vegetarian options this time. The meat dish will be the crowd-pleasing Herbed Meatballs with Pistachios in a Honey Pomegranate Glaze. The vegetarian dish is called "Khoreshteh Bademjaan", a traditional Persian eggplant braise that has a carmelized and tart flavor profile that is drool-worthy. Both will be served with a fluffy, aromatic dill & lima bean rice complete with tadig (a shell made of crunchy rice and thin potato slices) that makes the rice dish look almost like an upside-down cake when it is served!