Saturday, August 17, 2019

RECIPE: Kuku Sabzi

There has been lots of chard in the farm store lately, so I Google'd for recipes and found this, which sounded delicious to me.  In reality, it was addicting!  I couldn't get enough of it. 

Once again, I combined two recipes, adding the chard from the first, and using the second for the seasoning and easier cooking method.  If you don't use chard, the second recipe is much easier overall.

Original recipes: Splendid Table and The Mediterranean Dish

Kuku Sabzi (Chard and Herb Fritata)
Serves: 4-6

  • 2 bunches green chard, washed, stems removed and chopped into 1/4" dice
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced 1/4" thick  (I used green onions)
  • 7 T. butter, ghee, or Spanish or Greek EVOO
  • 2 cups finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems*
  • 1 cups finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 1 cups finely chopped dill leaves and tender stems
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1.5 t. baking powder (I didn't use this)
  • 1 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 3/4 t. grond green cardamom
  • 3/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. black pepper (I used cayenne)
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (optional)

Position an oven rack in the upper-middle position and heat to 375F.  Fit a piece of parchment paper into an 8" square or 9" round cake pan (original recipe calls for cutting the paper to fit the bottom of the pan, but my cake pans are aluminum and I didn't want the fritata touching the sides so I just folded and pressed the parchment to cover the sides as well.  I didn't coat the paper with EVOO and had no trouble removing it.  The second time I made this, I baked it in a ceramic baking dish with no parchment and had no trouble removing it). 

Saute the chard leaves in 1 T. fat until wilted.  Remove to a strainer.

Add another 3 T fat to the pan and saute the sliced leeks and chard stems over medium heat until tender and translucent.  Stir from time to time, add a splash of water if needed, or cover with a piece of parchment paper to entrap steam and prevent color from developing.

Meanwhile, squeeze the cooked chard leaves dry and discard the liquid.

In a food processor, combine the cooked chard leaves, parsley, cilantro and dill with the remaining 3 T. fat and process until finely ground. 

When the leeks and chard stems are cooked, add them to the greens.  Let everything cool a bit and then use your hands to mix everything evenly.  Taste and season generously knowing you're about to add a bunch of eggs to the mixture.

Recipe can be prepared ahead to this point.  Greens can be refrigerated for 3 days.

In a medium bowl, whisk the baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and pepper.  Add 2 eggs and whisk until blended, then add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined.  Fold into the herb mixture.   Add walnuts and cranberries if using.  Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake in 375F preheated oven until the center is firm, about 20-25 minutes.

Let the kuku cool in the pan fro 10 minutes.  Invert the pan onto a plate and peel off the parchment.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of yogurt or labneh (yogurt cheese).

* if you don't like cilantro, eliminate it and increase the other herbs by 1c. each.

Photo courtesy of The Mediterranean Dish

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