I have a subscription to Bon Appétit, and I haven’t been able to get this Persian frittata recipe out of my head ever since I saw it in one of their issues this past year (there’s also a video of Andy Baraghani expertly making it here). The frittata is called kuku sabzi and is often served during Persian New Year that is celebrated on spring equinox, welcoming spring with the abundance of herbs in the dish. I’m obsessed with any food that requires a ton of herbs, and this frittata is loaded with parsley, dill, and cilantro. I also like making vegan ‘frittatas’ with chickpea flour, since I’m completely in love with socca, and chickpea frittatas are like socca x 100.
Since this vegan version of kuku sabzi is taken out of context and tradition, I thought we could add our own spin on the meaning here. Instead of a welcome-spring dish, it can be a farewell-summer one. Herbs are still abundant at the farmer’s market where I live, and I see them as such a gift of summer. At the same time, I’m noticing all these subtle signs of fall creeping in. The days seem a tiny bit shorter, there’s often a chill in the air in the evenings, and some trees are already beginning to yellow. This time of year is so abundant, but also very fleeting, which makes it even more beautiful and worth savoring. So let’s load up on local, sun-fed herbs while we can.
Since fresh herbs are so readily available to many of us, we might take them for granted as a commonplace food. In truth, herbs are our everyday superfoods. Just think of the intense flavor that they provide – that intensity also signals their concentrated, nutritional power. I live in a city with windows that never get sun, but one of my biggest intentions is to soon live somewhere where I can have an herb garden (and beyond). Sprinkling fresh herbs on everything is a always a great idea, but this recipe really packs them in at 4 1/2 cups!
Just a reminder that if you have a high-speed blender or grain mill, you don’t have to buy chickpea flour. You can just grind up dried chickpeas, which will also save you a few bucks. All in all, this recipe is pretty easy. The biggest effort you’ll have to make is chopping up all of the herbs and veggies. The rest is basically just mix and bake. I served this frittata with market cucumbers and sun gold tomatoes, topped with the tzatziki sauce from Simply Vibrant. You can also eat it on its own, or topped with coconut yogurt or cashew cream. Hope you enjoy this one :)
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 3 tablespoons avocado, olive, or neutral coconut oil, plus more for oiling the pans
- 2½ cups purified water
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 1 large leek - thinly sliced into half-moons
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1½ cups chopped cilantro
- 1½ cups chopped parsley
- 1½ cups chopped dill
- Preheat oven to 500° F (260° C). Prepare a 9"-10" pie or tart dish by oiling it well.
- In a large bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, sea salt, turmeric, red pepper flakes and black pepper with a fork. Gradually pour in the oil and water, whisking them in as you pour. Mix until smooth and let sit while preparing the vegetables.
- Heat a glug of oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and leeks along with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
- Add the sautéed vegetables to the bowl with the batter, along with the cilantro, parsley, and dill. Fold everything in, making sure that the ingredients are dispersed well throughout the thick batter. Transfer the batter to the oiled pie/tart dish, patting it down with a spoon to form an even layer.
- Bake for 2o minutes. Open the oven door slightly to let any steam escape and proceed to bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top of the frittata is solid to the touch and nicely browned. Let cool, slice, and serve with yogurt or your favorite creamy sauce.