Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Kuku -ye Sabzi

Kuku -ye Sabzi is a Persian dish I've been making on and off for a while. You start with leafy greens, fresh herbs and eggs. The first time I made it I was expecting a variation on a frittata or herby omelette. I was astounded to discover just how wrong I was!

The dish does require the use of 4 or 5 eggs but are there simply as a binding agent - they do a lovely job of holding everything together. The predominate flavour and texture comes from the use of  large quantities of fresh herbs finely chopped with spinach or chard, and generous amounts of spring onion. It has an incredibly bold flavour, the antithesis of the gentle egginess of an omelette.

It has much in its favour - quick, easy, cheap, healthy, good hot or cold, great next day for lunch or as a central dish for a picnic. The only downside is that it's not hugely attractive to look at... but you will seduced at the first mouthful!

Kuku -ye Sabzi

This is how I made it from memory of a piece I read in the Guardian years ago - and can no longer find - but vary it to suit - you can add turmeric or walnuts or even a little flour if you want it to set more

1 bunch spinach or other leafy green
1 large bunch dill
1 bunch coriander or parsley
1 bunch spring onions
4 -5 eggs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil to cook

Wash the spinach, discard any thick stalks then shred the leaves and put them into a large bowl.. Finely chop the dill and coriander, discarding the stalks and add it to the spinach. Slice the spring onions into thin rings, green and white parts, and add to the bowl. In a small bowl beat the eggs till lightly frothy and pour them over the chopped greens, season well and mix everything together well.

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan over a lowish heat then carefully tip the mixture into the pan. Even it out with a spatula then cover with a lid. Leave to cook for 6 or 7 minutes, then gently lift the edges to check that the base is set.

To cook the top I like to tip the kuku out onto a plate by holding a plate over the pan and quickly flipping it upside down then slide the kuku back into the pan, uncooked side down, and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes. It works well so long as the base is set. But if that seems an adventure too far simply finish it off under the grill.

Onc cooked, slide it onto a plate and leave to cool a bit or entirely.

This was the first day for the 2 element of 5:2 so I served it with some roasted sweet potato salad and sliced cucumber for a richly flavoured - but lightweight - supper. A dollop of yoghurt would not go astray if you like a creamy element.

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