Sunday, February 12, 2006

Notes on Kuku Sabzi

Just after posting yesterday's recipe, I ran across this description from the James Beard Foundation website:

Kuku sabzi [kookoo SAHB-zee]

WHAT?
Iranian frittata. The herbs used to make kuku sabzi symbolize rebirth and the eggs fertility, which is why this Persian omelette is traditionally eaten at Noruz, Persian New Year. The herbs (sabzi), in fact, are key to the celebration; they are one of seven traditional items-symbolizing seven guardian angels—that are part of every table setting for the New Year's feast. According to Margaret Shaida's Legendary Cuisine of Persia, kuku sabzi is the most famous and popular of the many varieties of kuku (omelette). It can be eaten hot or at room temperature. Iranians cook one side of the omelette in a frying pan, then cut it into wedges before flipping each slice to brown. When done, the outside of the kuku should be a crispy bronze, the interior tender and green from generous handfuls of cilantro, dill, mint, chives, and other herbs. Chopped barberries (a sour red berry) or walnuts are sometimes added to the filling as well.


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