I will venture to guess that Fresh Herb Kuku Sabzi will be new for almost all readers. We have a friend in Elkins who recently married a man from Iran. The cuisine of Iran is esteemed world-wide. This is the first Persian recipe I have made my own. If you love fresh herbs and greens, you might like to try this. It’s not a last-minute dish; but it’s pretty easy, and tastes so healthy! Plus, it’s great hot or at room temperature.
Start with a lot of mixed greens. Traditionally, they use a mixture of scallions, parsley, cilantro, and dill. Reza taught me to use these, plus whatever else is plentiful. Mint, swiss chard, mustard greens, kale, and basil can all be included. To make a large Fresh Herb Kuku, you’ll need 8-10 cups of chopped greens.
Clockwise from upper left: kale, basil, chard, parsley, dill
Here is a picture of the washed greens I used, all fresh from the garden. Unfortunately, I forgot to pick mint and cilantro (!) but I still had a flavorful mix. The more herbs you use, and the less kale and swiss chard, obviously the more flavorful your kuku will be. Dill is kind of important, the recipe I have calls for two cups of dill, so be brave with the herbs! They are meant to be the basis of the dish, not an accent. This is a good time to get out your food processor. Remove any tough ribs or stems, and process greens in batches till chopped. In another large bowl, break 10- 12 eggs and whisk lightly. Add a few crushed cloves of garlic, two finely chopped onions, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Two ingredients in an authentic kuku aren’t common here. Dried fenugreek leaves taste a lot like celery leaves to me, but they are even more aromatic. I think you could substitute fresh or dried celery leaves, or a few ribs of finely chopped celery. In place of 1/4 cup of the very tart dried barberries used in the middle east, you could use dried cranberries, currants or raisins.
Mix all of these other ingredients into the eggs and then pour the egg mixture over the chopped greens.
Mixture ready to cook.
The resulting mixture will resemble a brilliant green pudding. The cooking requires an interesting new technique. Preheat a large iron (or nonstick) skillet with a tablespoon of butter.
Cooking the first side. I added some steamed green beans for garnish.
Pour in the greens/eggs mixture, cover the pan and turn the heat down low. Let it cook for 25-30 minutes, until set.
After flipping the wedges.
When the kuku has set, use a thin knife to cut it into wedges while still on the stove. Carefully flip each wedge over, one at a time, adding more butter or oil if necessary. ( I have not needed to add any more.) Cover the pan again, and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Turn out onto a platter.
Kuku Sabzi, ready to serve.
The kuku should be golden brown on both sides. Today we ate it with yogurt and pickled beets.
- Thank you Reza!
Ingredient list for Kuku Sabzi
8-10 cups chopped herbs and greens
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. celery leaves or fenugreek
1/4 cup dried craisins or barberries
1 tbsp butter