Pomegranates & ArtichokesA Food Journey from Iran to Italy

From photographer and food writer Saghar Setareh comes a cookbook full of rich new recipes that show how ingredients and recipes–unconstrained by borders–are shared and transformed through the immigrant experience.

When Iranian writer and food photographer Saghar Setareh moved to Italy at the age of 22, she was enchanted by the rich food culture of her adopted country, and this inspired a curiosity in the cuisine of her homeland and the surrounding countries of the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean. Pomegranates and Artichokes is the story of Saghar’s own culinary journey from Iran to Italy, in which she describes the many parallels that link Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food cultures, and shows how ingredients and recipes–unconstrained by borders–are shared and transformed through the immigrant experience.

Divided into three sections representing stops on Saghar’s culinary “road trip”­–Iran, In Between, and Italy–this book features more than 80 recipes celebrating the foods of these regions. Among the highlights are a simple Iranian breakfast platter, a celebratory Persian feast, Sicilian-style stuffed artichokes, guinea hen braised with pomegranate, sweet–sour meatballs from Aleppo, a Roman ricotta and wild cherry pie, and a velvety Middle Eastern milk pudding.

Illustrated with Saghar’s own beautiful photography and peppered with personal insights and experiences, Pomegranates and Artichokes tells the story of two food cultures, and the delicious space in between.

Saghar Setareh was born in Tehran and moved to Rome in 2007 to study at the Fine Art Academy. She has a popular food and photography blog, Lab Noon and has contributed to Food52, Conde Nast Traveller, and National Geographic. Alongside working as a professional photographer, Saghar runs Persian and Italian cooking classes in cities across Italy. She was among Corriere della Sera’s selection of “50 Women of Food” in 2020.

“Inspired by her time living in Iran and Italy, food writer and photographer Saghar Setareh explores the similarities between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. In over 80 recipes, this cookbook celebrates the culinary heritage of both countries while reflecting on her own experiences as an immigrant.” —BookRiot’s Most Anticipated Cookbooks of 2023

“[A] fascinating and deeply personal debut recipe collection, which evinces warm feelings about both locales while also training a clear eye on the experience of being foreign in Italy … Setareh elegantly spins a web of connections … Gorgeous photography throughout enhances the experience. Setareh’s thoughtful tone and generosity of spirit make this well worth a look.” — Publishers Weekly

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