[Photograph: Sara Remington]

Herb stew sounds like among those “recipes” I ‘d create as a kid poking around in the garden for cooking area experiments. After all, in Western food, fresh herbs are usually included at the end of cooking for a burst of plant and bright flavor. But according to Lousia Shafia, author of The New Persian Cooking Area, herb-filled stews are a few of the most famous in Iran. Her variation is a lighter, vegetarian take on the green stew, filled with cubes of turmeric-laced tofu and fat red kidney beans. The bulk of the stew is, indeed, sliced parsley, cilantro, and scallions (bulked up with a bit of spinach), and the mixture is surprisingly delicious. The grassy greens cook down and mellow, turning into a fragrant, earthy melange exceptional atop fluffy rice or packed into a pita.

Why I picked this dish: Shafia calls this meal one of the most well-known in Persian food, so how could I state no?

What worked: It might not be your very first inclination to prepare down a huge bowl of herbs, however the gentle heat works magic on the plant– the tastes of the herbs are in some way mellowed and boosted, transforming these supporting gamers into stars in their own right.

What didn’t: Nothing.

Recommended tweaks: While the recipe lists frozen, thawed, and roasted tofu as the main protein, this stew typically includes chicken. If you’re not wanting to make a vegetarian meal, you can substitute salted and seared boneless chicken meat for the tofu. If you can’t find dried limes, you can include a number of strips of lime passion to the stew.

  • Yield: serves 4
  • Active time:
    30 minutes
  • Total time: 24 hours (consisting of tofu freezing time)
  • Rated:



  • 1 (14- ounce) plan firm tofu
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Sea salt and newly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 big yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans( one 15- ounce can), rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, boiling
  • 1/2 pound spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup tightly packed, coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup securely packed, coarsely sliced fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 dried limes, taken in hot water to cover for 15 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons newly squeezed lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for ending up


  1. 1.

    Drain the tofu and suffice into 1-inch-thick slabs. Freeze up until solid, about 6 hours, then thaw in the refrigerator over night. Squeeze the tofu slices to get rid of excess water.

  2. 2.

    Preheat the oven to 375 ° F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat.

  3. 3.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil, 1 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the turmeric. Include the tofu and toss to coat it in the spices.

  4. 4.

    While the tofu bakes, caramelize the onion. Heat a big, deep frying pan over medium-high heat and include the staying 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, followed by the onion. Brown the onion for 10 minutes, till it starts to darken, then cook slowly over low heat for about 30 minutes, till it is dark brown and about half its initial volume. Include the garlic, beans, tofu, and stock and bring to a boil; then deny the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Include the spinach in big handfuls, adding more as each batch wilts, then stir in the herbs and scallions. Pierce the limes and add them to the stew in addition to their soaking water. Simmer for 20 minutes. The herbs need to be tender but still brilliant green. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and let the stew rest for 15 minutes. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

  6. 6.

    Variation: Heat a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat and include 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil to the pan. Add the chicken to the stew along with the beans

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