Kuku sabzi (or a very herb-heavy frittata)

The things I learn from watching too much tv. Thanks Netflix! In an episode of the tv series Hanna, the mention of kuku sabzi shook me out of my buttered popcorn-induced stupor, willing me to google it before the next commercial break. So when I learned that kuku sabzi comes from Persian cuisine (I don’t know the foods well but I like what I’ve tried) on it went at the top of the ‘gotta try’ list.

Kuku sabzi, from what I’ve read, is served for the Persian New Year on the day of the spring equinox. And a spring it’ll put in your step when you taste it. The simplest version calls for chopped fresh herbs mixed with beaten eggs (just enough to hold everything together) and a little salt and pepper. Many recipes also call for barberries and walnuts, but as I can’t find them here, I’ve substituted with cranberries.

I was rather spontaneous with amounts but the mixture shown here roughly includes:
2 heaping cups of chopped parsley
1 heaping cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
1 tablespoon of dried dill (substituting for a cup of fresh dill)
1/3 cup chopped red walnuts
1/4 cup cranberries
2 medium eggs, beaten well
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil

Combine all and mix well; tip into a preheated nonstick skillet that has been drizzled generously with olive oil. Cook over medium heat until bottom is nicely browned. Slide onto a plate, invert skillet over the plate, and flip over. Continue to cook until bottom is set. Cool before serving.

You can eat this as is or with whatever you like. Yogurt or tzatziki is popular; I’ve even seen a youtuber say that she likes hers with ketchup! This dish tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to hang out together. Cranberries and walnuts are optional, but the sweet tang of the cranberries and crunch from the nuts really made this dish for me. Great snack, picnic, or finger food.

17 thoughts on “Kuku sabzi (or a very herb-heavy frittata)

  1. carlae

    My Persian co-works shares all sorts of interesting dishes and recipes. He told me about the Shirazi, as well as Mast-O-Khair and and I can’t forget Lubia polo….I will check out the Kuku sabzi. He also teaches me Persian swear words…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rowena Post author

      I’ll have to look up all of those dishes you mentioned – my kind of coworkers!

      My father-in-law’s Romanian caregiver occasionally cooks foods from her homeland but the one thing I can’t get over is polenta topped with, no, drowning in, melted lard.🤢


      1. Nonna T

        I’ve heard that Persian dishes often have a lot of herbs. I love to cook with a lot of fresh herbs, but we have some serious cilantro haters in this house…I’m planting some heirloom garlic this Fall. “The heritage of this unique garlic can be directly traced to northern Germany. It could possibly be the most cold-hardy variety known, having been documented to –18°F in Eastern Oregon. And one grower, who cultivated this variety in New York for more than 10 years, claims it withstood –60°F.” !! I am heavily relying on floating row covers and will see it this garlic lives up to it’s reputation…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Rowena Post author

        Oh you can totally skip the cilantro and use garlic chives or cooked spinach (although it’s out of the herb category); this is open to variation as long as it’s green.

        Curious to see how your garlic does – what a gem! I intend to plant aglio rosso di Sulmona for the scapes come spring.


    1. Rowena Post author

      Oh it’s my pleasure! Funny thing is that I like when the mention of some particular dish or other is connected to what a person has seen on the screen.

      Case in point, that Vesper cocktail scene in Casino Royale. Lillet is not readily available in Italy but when I saw a bottle of it at a liquor shop in Switzerland…
      Wish I had bought it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brad Farless

        We’ve been watching some cooking related shows recently that have us wanting to try out the recipes. If you have Netflix, check out “Midnight Diner”. It has cooking but also a lot of interpersonal drama done in a really engaging way. “Kantaro: Sweet Tooth Salaryman” is also good, but it’s a little weirder.

        Liked by 1 person

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