The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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EVERY GREEN THING: AN HERBED FRITTATA WITH PEA + FAVA SHOOTS

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.

KUKU SABZI, AN HERBED FRITTATA WITH PEA + FAVA SHOOTS
Yield: 8 slices
Adapted from Louisa Shafia’s The New Persian Kitchen, with inspiration from Samin Nosrat

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.

  • Jeanine Brandi - Looks fantastic! I will try a version tonight with fresh spinach, parsley & ricotta cheese. Will post a pic on my blog at foodfarm.tumblr.com Here’s to spring…ReplyCancel

  • Lucid Food - Kimberley this is gorgeous – like everything you make! This is just how I like my kuku, super packed with herbs. I like the addition of the favas and pea shoots. Happy Norooz/spring equinox tomorrow! -LouisaReplyCancel

  • Laura - I’m a huge fan of the vivid/saturated nature of spring greens too. They barely seem possible after the muted mud tones of March ’round here. Their arrival and spring in general does feel like a suitable starting point, or at least an opportunity to see and take things in differently. Love the idea of this “mouthful of greens” frittata too, all herbed out with spring-y shoots.ReplyCancel

  • Julia - I would say: Spring on a plate!ReplyCancel

  • Carly June - This is exactly what I want to eat right now. Stunning photographs.ReplyCancel

  • Mimi - That is one beautiful frittata!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - This sounds like the idea spring lunch! I’ve never even see fava shoots before–super interesting. :)ReplyCancel

  • cheri - Love everything about this, we make something similar, but you have made the greens the star of the show.ReplyCancel

  • Ileana - I spent last week eating my way through Vegas and Austin. We hit up buffets, bbq, and tacos, which leaves little room for salads, as vacation tends to go. Now that I’m back home I am craving greens like crazy! It’s been a lot of kale salads and sauteed mustard greens, and now I can’t wait to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen - Wow, those onions are incredibly beautiful. Nice picture! Now I want spring to happen, ASAP.ReplyCancel

  • Alex - Wow, that looks great. Seeing it on the plate in the third picture, makes me want to try it now :)ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - Look at all that green– gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - Una tortilla deliciosa…
    Un saludoReplyCancel

  • Daniel - The best greens come fresh out of the garden. You can’t beat making salads and dishes from greens you have just picked.ReplyCancel

  • Michael - Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. Everything looks so green and fresh. Shall add this to my to-cook list!ReplyCancel

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