Iranian Kuku, or a Greens Omelet for the New Year
Hi and happy new year. This may not look like apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah–a tradition that helps bring about a sweet new year. No, my recipe has been transformed by my research into Middle Eastern cuisine. This, friends, is an Iranian Kuku, a baked omelet made with greens, herbs, and–get this–walnuts and raisins. The latter for a sweet new year. That makes these the greenest, sweetest eggs ever. Intrigued? I was too when I first came upon this recipe in Claudia Roden’s fantastic chapter on egg dishes from the Middle East.
For more traditional Jewish new year recipes, you’ll want to click click over to brisket, my grandma’s plum cake, and kugel (noodle or potato??). But if you’re looking to shake things up a little even as you heed the sweetness mandate, you’ve found an irresistible recipe.
Here’s the deal. Tons of greens–like way more than you would ever dream of tossing with a mere half dozen eggs–become the substance of a baked omelet. In the tradition of Arab omelets, these are cooked until firm and they contain so much more filling than any other omelet, frittata, or savory pancake that I’ve ever cooked. I would dare to say they’re closest to the Spanish tortilla española, if we’re classifying.
Because this particular omelet hails from Persia, it’s called a kuku, which just means omelet. It’s the greens, walnuts, and raisins that make this a new year’s meal there, but you can leave out the nuts and raisins if you’re not worried about sweetness transference from your meal to your year. I found the additions to be surprisingly delicious and a nice counterpoint to all those greens.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that this kuku is really, really healthful. It’s a tasty, satisfying way to ingest a greedy portion of greens and also a good candidate for an eat-all-week lunch, since it’s great cold and room temp. We enjoyed slices in a couple different ways–beside lentil soup and in a sandwich paired with mayo and and a few slices of Sargento mozzarella were two of the best.
This sponsored post is part of an ongoing collaboration with Sargento, called Flavor Journey. Throughout the year, with the support of Sargento, I’m exploring Middle Eastern cuisine–at home, in Brooklyn, at cooking classes, and wherever the flavors may take me. You can see the whole series here. Sponsored posts let me do some of my best work on this blog, and I only ever work with brands whose values and products mesh with the content I love to produce for you. Here’s my affiliate disclosure.
Iranian Kuku, or Baked Spinach & Herb Omelet
Serves 4 to 6
So many ways to serve this! It’s great hot, warm, and at room temperature. I recommend it as a brunch main, especially if your friends are gluten free, or don’t eat dairy or meat. For a picnic, pre-cut the wedges. Also, if you’d like this to slice really neatly, be sure to give your herbs, greens and scallions a pretty fine chop–big pieces will get in the way when you’re slicing.
6 large eggs
about 2 ounces baby spinach, finely slivered
8 scallions, white and green parts chopped
2/3 cups mixed chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, tarragon, chives, a tiny bit of dill and a few leaves of mint. Use whatever you like, but definitely go easy on dill and mint, since they’re overwhelming flavors)
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Beat the eggs with the spinach, scallions, herbs, walnuts, raisins, and salt.
Place a 9 or 10 inch skillet on a burner over low heat and add the butter. Once melted, swirl it around the pan, coating the edges too. Pour in the egg mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the eggs are firm. If you’d like the crust to be golden, finish the omelet under the broiler for a minute or two. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, then eat hot or cold.