Iranian Solstice Ash-e Anar
2 bunches parsley
2 bunches cilantro
2 bunches spinach
1/2 cup avocado oil
1 large onion, medium dice
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 bunches of medium-sized beets, including beet tops
1 to 1.5 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh black pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 gallon pure pomegranate juice (not from concentrate, no added sugar)
10 oz. pomegranate molasses
About 2 quarts of water
1. thoroughly wash, pick the stems, and cut the herbs, and then finely chop them. Do this with the parsley, cilantro, and spinach, as well as with the beet tops. Peel and dice the beets in a medium dice and set aside.
2. Put rice into strainer, strainer into a clean bowl, and run water over the rice. Rinse rice in cold water to remove excess starches. repeat twice. Set aside.
3. In a large pot, over medium-low heat, add the avocado oil and onions. Allow the onions to sweat for about 10 minutes, just enough to gently cook (pearl) the onions.
4. Add the cut beets to the onions, followed by salt, pepper, turmeric, and then rice. Stir and cook for a minute, then add water. Cook with a lid, stirring every 7 minutes or so to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. It should take about 25 minutes for the beets and rice to get to their desired texture. To see if the rice is cooked, squeeze a kernel or two between your thumb and forefinger; it should be soft, but not mushy.
5. Add the pomegranate juice, beet tops, cilantro, parsley and spinach. Stir and cook for 15 minutes. Finally, add the pomegranate molasses and allow to simmer on low for 1 hour, making sure to stir consistently.
6. Add salt to taste.