Gastronomy

Published on April 6th, 2021 | by Nikki Karamooz

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Kookoo Sabzi | Quiche Muffin Cups With Dill Yogurt

Kookoo is the term used in Farsi to describe an egg-based, quiche type dish.  Sabzi is Farsi for fresh herbs.  My recipe today takes the essence of our traditional kookoo sabzi and converts it into a nutritious, light herb muffin, veggie crustless quiche – an herb-filled spinach pie if you will.

This fabulous appetizer traditionally comes around during Persian New Year.  It’s called KooKoo Sabzi.  Persian New Year is filled with old customs and much symbolism from the special table setting all the way down the dishes served for the spring feast and festivities.  Fresh spring herbs are abundant on tables and in many new year dishes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed (I use Italian parsley)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 cup fresh dill, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives/green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped leeks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnut halves
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • spray cooking oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Coat muffin tin with spray oil liberally to avoid sticking
  3. Coarsely chop all the fresh herbs
  4. Use cooking sheers to cut up fresh dill
  5. Slice green onions/chives and leeks into thin slices
  6. Heat olive oil in a skillet pan
  7. Saute the fresh, chopped herbs in heated olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes, just until wilted, then allow to cool
  8. Coarsely chop the walnuts keep 10 to 12 halves to use as a garnish on top at the end of baking
  9. Toast walnuts, keeping a close eye on them – they quickly go from browned to burned
  10. Use a hand blender to beat eggs for about 30 seconds along with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl
  11. Add yogurt to the egg mixture and whisk to combine
  12. Whisk in flour, baking powder, and turmeric
  13. Stir in sauteed herbs
  14. Add toasted walnuts stir to combine
  15. Pour into greased or lined muffin tin – about 1/3 cup per muffin
  16. Bake until firmly set, about 15 minutes
  17. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and add a walnut half to the top of each muffin. Persian barberries (zereshk) can also be sprinkled on top at this time
  18. Switch oven setting to broil and cook an additional 3 minutes or so to get the tops slightly browned
  19. Carefully remove from tins
  20. Serve with plain yogurt with dried dill garnished with more fresh herbs and whole walnuts

NOTES

Persian barberries (zereshk) are often used in traditional kookoo sabzi recipes. Zereshk resembles currants but have a tart and sour taste. They give interest, zing, and extra flavor to these herby muffins.

If you choose to add walnut halves and/or barberries to the tops, do so for the last 5 minutes of broiling as they will burn.

Worth noting is that if you have access to a middle eastern market you may be able to find dried or frozen herbs (‘sabzi’) pre-packed for kookoo. It would be labeled Herbs for Kookoo or something similar. Use approximately 3 1/2 to 4 cups of the prepackaged herb for kookoo in the place of all the fresh herbs for this recipe.


About the Author

mm

is born and raised in beautiful Los Angeles, CA. Her years of experience and knowledge in fine dining restaurants, catering companies, and private homes have been a solid foundation for her growing personal chef business. Growing up in such a diverse culinary environment, L.A.'s cuisine has served as an inspiration for many of Chef Nikki’s menus, fusing middle eastern flavors with a variation of different cuisines. Others describe her cooking as comforting, rich, and unique. She loves to emphasize seasonal, local, and exotic ingredients/products in her dishes, and is attentive to those extra details that make an ordinary meal, and extraordinary one. Her Website is www.nikkistable.com Her Instagram link is @chefniki



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