kookoo {vegetarian herb omelette or frittata}

kookoo

we’ve been enjoying kookoo (i know, bit of a funny name) or the persian version of  a frittata-omelette-quiche in my family ever since I can remember. when i say we, i have to admit that for years I only observed it being made (there are all kinds of variations of kookoo) and eaten by others. starting off in life as a bit of a picky eater, i eventually learned to appreciate a good kookoo (among other things) as i discovered what (real  food) eating was all about. i can still see my grandma’s skillful hands meticulously chopping the herbs, then ever so care carefully pouring the green “batter” in to the pan. herb (green) kookoo is best in the spring when all the fresh herbs it calls for are in  abundance. as i prepare my shopping list for our upcoming (persian) new year’s celebration (no rouz -spring equinox), it becomes clear that herb kookoo contains a  perfectly healthy and good for you combination of ingredients-a rarity for such deliciousness! it is a great vegetarian option, and can be served warm as a side (such as during no rouz where it is served alongside the traditional herbed rice & fish dish, sabzi polo mahi), or as an appetizer (at room temperature) served with yogurt and flat bread. i left this beautiful one whole, and served it sliced like a pie with a yogurt-cucumber-dill sauce.  it was a big hit.

 

kookoo recipe: 

finely clean and chop (herbs should be chopped finely so that they can mix well with the other ingredients) one large organic bunch (1 cup chopped) each of: 

– cilantro, flat leaf parsley, and spinach (about 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup each chopped)

– 2 bunches sliced green onions or chives.

     combine the herbs in a bowl with:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3-4 organic eggs
  • 2-3 tbs flour  
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • a touch of cinnamon-about 1 tsp (if you like it)
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbs barberries (optional)

1. heat 2-3 tbs vegetable oil in a deep skillet, then carefully pour in the egg mixture and pat it down tightly with a spatula and allow  it cook on one side on med/low heat for about 20-25 minutes (with the lid on).
2. carefully flip the kookoo with the help of a round platter (this can be tricky, but is doable-trust me), and cook the other side for another 20-25. flip the kookoo (it should be crisp on the outside) out on to a platter, and let it sit a few minutes prior to serving. you can also cut the kookoo  in to small sized squares and serve as an appetizer with a side of yogurt. 

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potato and cauliflower pie ~ kookoo (kuku) seebzamini va gol kalam

how to make a vegetarian potato kookoo (or kuku) in a few (rather) easy steps:

potato cauliflower pieyou know those days when you suddenly have to come up with a quick meal for unexpected company? i had one of those last sunday when i had about an hour to make a respectable (as in deliciously worthy of the company) lunch for about eight (dear) people. it was a beautiful warm and sunny day, and we were going to eat outside. without time for food shopping, i had to make do with what i had, which on this day consisted of the good old standbys: potatoes, dry pasta, tomatoes, and eggs. i was also happy to find a nice looking cauliflower and some flat leaf parsley in the refrigerator.  it was a decent start. while the potatoes were boiling (and cauliflower steaming) for the kookoo ( also see herb kookoo & chicken kookoo), i started on a quick tomato sauce to go over the penne pasta. as you can imagine, we were also in need of something raw and fresh (and not so starchy): it would be a tomato salad with feta cheese and fresh oregano-we were in business! you’d never know the meal wasn’t pre-planned, would you? this is how the beautiful kookoo came about:

potato kookoo ingredients for 6-8

making kuku

  • 3 medium potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled, and cubed
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 1/2 of a cauliflower, steamed and cut into small pieces
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3-4 tbs cooking oil
  • small bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 4-5 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional for spicy)
  • 2-3 tbs organic ww flour
  1. combine all the ingredients (minus the oil) in a bowl and mix well. heat the oil in a deep (not so deep, but with an edge that comes up about 2 inches) skillet (frying pan) and pour in the mixture with a spatula. press it down lightly until evenly distributed.
  2. after about 4-5 minutes reduce the heat to medium/low, cover the skillet (partially, allowing the steam to escape), and let the kookoo (or pie) cook on one side for about 10-15 minutes or slightly more.
  3. when the edges start looking cooked and turn light brown, it is time to flip the kookoo over. carefully separate the edges from the skillet with the spatula.
  4. place a round plate slightly larger than the size of the top of the skillet over the skillet and carefully flip over so the kookoo lands cooked side up on the plate (or platter).
  5. very carefully slide the kookoo (uncooked side down) back into the skillet. cook for an additional 15-20 minutes before flipping it back onto the platter for serving.
  6. serve with yogurt on the side. may be served at room temperature.

vegetarian kookoo

for tomato salad: sliced ripe red & yellow tomatoes, cubed french feta cheese, fresh oregano, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & pepper, turkish chili flakes. combine right before serving.

tomato saladkuku recipe

 

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