Borani-e Khiar (Cucumber, Walnut and Yogurt Salad)
This refreshing salad calls for using drained yogurt, or labneh, a popular ingredient in Persian cooking and one that is easy to make at home. Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth, and spoon the yogurt into the strainer. Set the strainer in a bowl or sink with a drain. Alternatively, you can cover the yogurt with several layers of paper towels, which absorb the excess liquid in the yogurt, and place the bowl in a larger container or sink to catch the drips. For a thicker yogurt, change the towels often, and repeat for several hours. When ready, the drained yogurt will have the consistency of cream cheese. Already-drained yogurt, Persian cucumbers and edible organic rose petals are sold at Middle Eastern markets. Use only fresh rose petals. Combining the raisins with the rose petals imparts a rose fragrance to the raisins. Note: The recipe analysis does not include the bread.
1. Combine raisins and rose petals in small container, cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
2. Combine yogurt, sour cream, if using, cucumbers, scallions, mint leaves, Thai basil leaves, dill weed, tarragon leaves, garlic, radishes, and salt and pepper in serving bowl. Mix thoroughly, and adjust seasonings to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
3. To serve, add walnuts, raisins and rose petals, stir well and serve with flatbread.