Fall is my favorite season for variety of reasons: the turning of the leaves, the bright and colorful fall foliage, my birthday, and the arrival of harvest-time.
Squashes, persimmons, quinces and pomegranates top the list of seasonal favorites for me. I find the flavors of squashes quite appealing and when you think of it, what’s not to love?! They deliver carbs with a soft texture and a sweet flavor profile that pairs so nicely with many other flavors.
This is Aash Reshteh, one of the most popular and well-loved members of the Aash family, which has nearly 50 varieties. Aash is a Persian term used to describe a very thick style of soup.
Important ingredients for this dish are heaping amounts of herbs and various beans, but the signature ingredients are Kashk and Reshteh. Kashk is liquid whey derived from yogurt, and Reshteh is a noodle which has an appearance that’s reminiscent of linguine but a very different flavor profile.
Kashk is a full-fat yogurt that is cooked with water until most of the liquid is evaporated and then strained through a cheesecloth. The pulp is then rehydrated with some water and salt to create a reasonably thick sauce-like consistency. The end result is pure umami: a little salt, a lot of tang and a whole lot of flavor! In Persian cuisine, Kashk is either blended into dishes or quite often drizzled on top of them.
Aash-e Jow is a hearty Persian barley stew prepared by slowly cooking beans and grains with an abundance of fresh herbs and spinach. The stew is topped with the salty and tangy Kashk (liquid whey), tender crispy fried onions, and a garlic mint sauce.
Aash can be served either as the main course or as a side dish. When I’m in a hurry and eager to have this stew, I sometimes use good quality canned beans to get to it faster!