Colour, texture and layers of flavour - this week's dishes offer not just a tasty meal but one that looks fabulous, too.
This Iranian chicken was cooked for me when I was travelling as a backpacker in Turkey, by some wonderful people who had fled Iran for safety and were hiding out there. They worked under the table and lived on a tight budget. Aubergines are used a lot in Iranian cooking, as they add depth to a dish and work well with spices and nuts. If the weather is good, cook the aubergine on the barbecue; if not, a frying pan will do the trick.
There are many versions of Iranian chicken dishes. This one has the delicious, sweet flavour of the honey and the sour of the molasses. With simple rice, dill and broad beans folded through, it is absolutely delicious. Pomegranate molasses can be found in specialty shops. If that's not available, use pomegranate juice with a little extra honey.
Pumpkin salad is a favourite of mine - a jumble of flavours, textures and always colourful. Eat it as a simple lunch or as an accompaniment to a barbecue dinner. If you cook the pumpkin earlier in the day it's simple to toss it all together.
Finally, lemon curd is a recipe I feel everyone should have on hand. It's great to put into pastry cases for a last-minute dessert when unexpected visitors arrive. I can't count the number of times friends have been surprised by the intense lemon flavour. Put a tablespoon of curd into the middle of a muffin, or have it on toast for breakfast.
Ensure your lemons are at room temperature to yield the most juice. The curd will keep in the fridge for a month and is perfect at this time of the year when lemons are juicy and abundant. You could put it through a sieve once cooked for a perfectly smooth curd, but I don't bother - I like the zesty bits left in. It goes beautifully with fresh berries and always looks so pretty.
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