FSC Book Club: Meeting One!

So! We had our first “meeting” of the Virtual From Scratch Club Book Club. We are all reading and cooking along with Whole Grains for a New Generation. For our first meeting we are cooking rice dishes. I decided to make Persian Style Lamb, Butternut Squash and Brown Basmati Rice Pilaf because it has a Middle Easter Profile that I love. My father-in-law is from the Middle East so LB has a fondness for it as well.


I love lamb. I know a lot of people aren’t fans and the line for the lamb chops at the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival is usually ridiculously short which I do not understand because if anyone knows how to cook lamb, it’s gonna be the folks who raise them..

Anyway, this lamb is seasoned with cardamom and cinnamon and cumin. Awesome.

What I also really loved about this dish is it included butternut squash which added a lovely sweeteness.

What I wasn’t such a fan of was all of the dishes I had to use. A pot to cook the lamb and squash. A pot to parboil the rice. A Dutch oven to cook everything.


Parboiling the rice was brilliant.

Seriously, it meant that the rice in the pilaf was tender and moist and everything came together beautifully.
My poor little dutch oven almost didn’t hold everything.

The other thing that was in here, that I adored, was the prunes. Reminded me of a dish I had in the Moroccan Pavilion in Disneyworld. They puffed up and stewed so beautifully in here.

Over all, we both really really enjoyed this dish. I wasn’t able to achieve the tahdig but I was too impatient to leave it in the oven any longer. I will definitely make this again with just a few tweaks for us. I would use less rice, more lamb and more butternut squash. Being that this is a GRAINS book, the amount of rice is totally in keeping with the theme of the book. But for us, considering we are working to make the veggies the stars, the meats as a side dish and the grains as an occasional treat, I would adjust the proportions. I would also add a little acid, such as lemon juice and maybe some spinach and pistachios.