Persian Delights with Saffron and Preserved Lemons

This recipe is equally delicious with chicken, seafood (I’ve used scallops, shrimp and fish fillets), or tofu. If you’re using chicken, my favorite is Eberly’s because of the flavor. If using tofu, The Bridge is nice and firm. When using another tofu, the extra-firm Nasoya, for instance, take it out of the package, put it next to the sink and put a cast iron skillet on top for about an hour to press out some of the water.

You get to use saffron, which is the most expensive spice in the world because it is harvested by hand with tweezers for a yield of two threads per plant! It does impart an indefinable something wonderful. Of course you can substitute a pinch of turmeric, which is called “poor man’s saffron.”

Case Files: Leaping*(Soaring)

USES: Creating and sustaining both physical and mental energy. Sleep deprivation, and associated brain fog. Athletic performance (endurance more so than strength training: hiking, running, team sports, or just yard work). Altitude sickness. Chronic lung weakness. Acute stresses to the system. General fatigue.

Roughly 2/3 of Leaping*(Soaring) is an extract of Cordyceps, a rare, high-altitude mushroom which is one of the most prized treasures of Tibetan medicine. Within 30 minutes, Cordyceps begins to increase oxygen uptake from the lungs. With oxygen, every metabolic process runs more smoothly.

I was originally taught how to use Cordyceps by my friend, the herbalist Paul Gorman, on a hike in the Cascade Mountains in 1999. High above the world, I felt the air, gorgeous and green and blue and clear and clean, fill my lungs with energy. No adrenalized jolt, no caffeine buzz, just pure calm energy. (On the way back down, we found a sunlit grove full of Reishi mushrooms. That’s the day I fell in love with herbs).