Chickpea Fig Bars with Pistachios. Doesn't sound very appetizing, huh? But these buttery, melt in your mouth, cardomom and rose water scented bars are delicious. My friend @hipstarr1 lent me her Persian cookbook, "Food of Life," after seeing a recipe for Chickpea Cookies (nan-e nokhodchi) that intrigued me. As some of you may know, my first cooking job was with @wholefoods in Georgetown in 1996. Whole Foods was experimenting with a full service restaurant right next to the store and I started off there, first in the salad/dessert station before moving around the entire kitchen. The restaurant's food was inspired by the spices and ingredients from Nortthern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. It was at this job that I was exposed to preserved lemons, harisssa, cardamom, saffron, sumac, rose water, orange blossom water, and a whole repertoire of cookies, cakes and pastries. I was very fortunate that the chef, Peter Gaylor, let me experiment, test and develop recipes, especially for our Mediterranean Cookie Plate, and the store's coffee shop, for which we supplied some of the baked goods. So when Monica loaned me her book, it brought back all sorts of memories from my first cooking job. I did some research on Nan-e Nokhodchi and these are much like shortbread. As you also know, I just made a batch of Kadota Fig Preserves. Hmmmm....transforming the cookie to serve as a base and topping for fig bars... that just sounded yum. And they are.
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