If you know Persian food, you know that the cuisine has a lot to offer: it’s rich, hearty, and full of fresh ingredients. Finish the meal with an akbar mashti (saffron pistachio ice cream) sandwich and you may have reached heaven. Any Persian will tell you it’s the best food you'll come across. I've only just discovered the cuisine after meeting my partner, Mo, who moved from Tehran when he was young, and since we've met has shown me the ropes on all things Persian.
Kuku sabzi is the name of this dish in Farsi. Sabzi means herbs (or greens), and is usually a mix of whatever you have on hand. It’s delicious, herbaceous, and fresh. The tzatziki is refreshing and the tomatoes I've added to give the dish a nice acidity. This recipe has been gathered from Mo’s mother, Mahvash, with a tweak for what I could find at the farmer’s market. Some prefer to cook their frittata on the stove top, while others bake it. Since I had a cast iron skillet, and the time, I decided to bake mine. It came out delicious and fluffy.
Nutritionally speaking, this dish has got you covered. It’s packed full of herbs which makes it high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. There’s a solid amount of protein (18 g per serving), healthy fats, specifically is a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, B complex, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, iron.
6 farm fresh eggs
1 cup tightly packed cilantro
1 cup tightly packed parsley
2 cup spinach
1 - 1 1/2 cup leek
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp fenugreek
1 pint of small heirloom tomatoes (I used black cherry)
1 cup full fat yogurt (greek yogurt is best)
1/2 cup cucumber
1/2 lemon juiced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dill
Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 30-40 minutes | Oven temperature: 375° | Serves: 3-4
1. Preheat oven
Once the oven has reached the temperature, line an 8 inch seasoned cast iron skillet with oil (sunflower, coconut, ghee, etc.) and place on the middle rack.
2. Chop + Mix herbs
Finely chop the cilantro, parsley, leeks, and spinach; mix together with the spices and sea salt. In a separate bowl, crack 6 eggs and whisk. Fold in the eggs with the herbs.
Pour the mixture into the skillet.* Bake for 30-45 minutes. Check the middle of the frittata with a toothpick or knife. The dish is ready when you see no raw egg sticking to the toothpick/knife.
*You definitely want to make sure the cast iron is well seasoned to allow the eggs not to stick. You may also line the bottom of the skillet with parchment paper to make it easier to flip the frittata out at the end.
4. Roast Tomatoes
Slice the tomatoes in half, place in a pan or on a baking sheet; drizzle olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
5. Make Tzatziki
Mince the garlic, juice 1/2 a lemon, chop the dill, and finely dice the cucumber.
In a bowl, squeeze the cucumber in your hands, releasing as much of its water content as possible. This allows for the tzatziki sauce to remain thick and rich. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl; taste and make any necessary adjustments. Set to the side.
Tip: You've just made delicious cold pressed cucumber water! Drink up!
6. Cool + Slice
Once done, pull the frittata out and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Flip over onto a plate. With a sharp knife, slice down the middle, rotate and repeat until you get 8 individual pieces.
Serve warm with the roasted tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.