Spring Things

Wow, do you ever wonder if the rain is going to stop? That’s what’s happening here in SeaTown, just an ongoing downpour, alternating with showers, hail, and the odd bit of snow. Sometimes this water show is interrupted by a thing called a Sun Break, which is just be the most depressing term ever invented, and has got to be Scandinavian in origin.

Occasionally I give in to the malaise and snuggle up with a cheerful poem like TS Elliot’s The Wasteland:

April is the cruelest month…

…that corpse you planted last year i your garden, Has it begun to sprout?

And I’m all like I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF ITS EVER GOING TO BE SUN AGAINNnnnnnn…

But I digress. Sometimes I need to put something optimistic and cheerful in front of me, and that is why I love this new little recipe that was suggested to me by a client. Kuku Sabzi is a frittata-like dish chock full of fresh herbs. It is eaten as a part of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and also for Armenian Easter. Kuku Sabzi is all about the optimism of the new year, of bright green things and satiety. And Optimism, Optimism, Optimism.

By the way, advieh is a knockout spice blend that includes all the Mediterranean C’s (coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom) PLUS sometimes rose petal. A link to a source is included in the recipe.

#kuku for breakfast, with fresh, slightly warm yogurt. #persianfood

A post shared by Lesa Sullivan-Abajian (@lesacooks) on

Kuku Sabzi

  • About 5 cups mixed herbs loosely packed chives, dill, cilantro and parsley
  • 1 Spring onion, greens and bulb finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground advieh or a combination of coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon dried turmeric or 2 teaspoons, grated
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves or 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped celery leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons barberries, chopped or whole (optional)

Finely chop the herbs and set aside in a large bowl. In an 8=10” nonstick saute pan, heat about 2 teaspoons of high heat oil over medium heat. Saute the spring onion until it is translucent and fragrant but not browned, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic in the last few moments of cooking. Remove the onion and garlic from the pan into a small bowl. Wipe the pan out well. Combine the eggs with the advieh or combination of coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom, turmeric, fenugreek, baking powder, salt and pepper, and whisk well. Fold this into the herb mixture, followed by the sautéed onion and garlic.

In the same saute pan used for preparing the onion and garlic, heat about 3 tablespoons high heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mixture and pat it down lightly to flatten. Cook for about 1 minute, until the sides have begun to set. Turn the heat down, cover and cook for another 10-12 minutes.

When the kuku can be shaken lloose from the pan in one complete piece, turn it out onto a plate and then slide it back in, cooked side up. Finish cooking over low heat for another minute until set and lightly browned.

Turn out onto a cutting board and portion into 8 pieces. Top with barberries and serve with kashk or yogurt and pita or lavash.

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