Recently, I was lucky enough to join NZ Travel and Tours on a food tour of Iran. What a magical country; you will be able to read all about it in an upcoming issue of Cuisine. I came home bursting with inspiration for recipes; I’m going to share some more traditional ones later, but here I have put together an Iranian-inspired menu specially for the summer months, using flavour combinations I really enjoyed and seasonal produce. Saffron features in a few of the recipes as its unique flavour is intrinsic to Persian cuisine; you will extract more flavour by grinding it to a powder before using, but it is not essential. You can buy high quality Iranian Novin saffron online from

Sabzi khordan is served on every table at every meal to freshen the palate and enhance dishes. To make, fill a bowl or plate with a selection of fresh herbs; any of the following are suitable, but in order of importance go for mint, Persian or Thai basil, flat-leafed parsley, tarragon, chives, watercress, marjoram, sorrel, coriander, basil, dill, chervil or rocket. To this you can add radishes and thin spring onions.