I have always loved that the Persian New Year, Norooz, coincides with the beginning of spring. It feels right, to begin the year anew now, when everything is crawling out from the heavy cloak of winter, the year’s new growth tentatively unfurling. It is the easiest time to slough off the old and look forward. Every year I am dumbfounded by the proliferation of the green and the fresh: the fluorescent tips of spruce and pine and the baby nettle plants poking out everywhere in the hills of Marin, the flower blossoms and flowering bulbs and tiny tree buds in San Francisco, the doves who announce their arrival on my deck daily and circle each other awkwardly before surprising into flight at the sight of a crow. That, coupled with the miracle that is that extra hour of golden light following daylight savings, makes this time of year a little intoxicating. I feel like I’m floating through the days, and those days are full of possibility.
There is nothing more perfect with which to celebrate this greenest season than the Persian kuku sabzi, an herbed frittata of sorts that is, as my pal Samin describes it, “mostly greens and herbs …. just barely bound together with egg, so it’s like eating a mouthful of greens.” It’s a traditional dish served at Norooz, the green herbs and eggs a perfect iteration of renewal.
I would like a mouthful of greens with a lacy web of golden eggs barely holding it together. It’s a flexible and forgiving dish – frequently it’s made with parsley, cilantro, dill and chives, but nearly anything leafy and green is welcome. I folded some pea and fava shoots into it – they are my own signifiers of spring. I love their subtle legume flavor and they worked beautifully in this context. Add whatever bright, delicate herbs or greens you like. Here’s to every green thing, and to long evenings, and to the possibility of the new.
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bunch green onions or small spring onions, diced
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, stems removed
1.5 cups chopped greens, such as pea shoots and fava greens, or cilantro, dill, mint, or spinach
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
7 eggs, whisked
Feta, to serve
Sliced radishes, to serve
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat an 8 to 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and green onions and sauté until soft, stirring, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the parsley and the chopped greens, and cook until just wilted, stirring often, about 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.
Gently fold in the whisked eggs until incorporated. Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the center is firm, about 15 minutes longer. Set aside to cool for five minutes.
Serve with crumbled Feta and radishes, as Louisa suggests, or try mayonnaise and hot sauce, as Samin suggests. I ate it both ways: both were awesome.