Spinach Kuku

Springtime is icumen in, loud sing kuku! In this case, not the bird, but the dish. From Persia (modern Iran) it is similar to an Italian frittata or Spanish tortilla. However, this contains far more in the way of fresh green herby flavors.

Recipes vary considerably; from mostly herbs with just enough egg to hold them together to basically green-flecked omelets. Spinach seems to be the most popular vegetable to add to a kuku, but other greens can be used as well. Cilantro is often added, but it won't be available at this time of year. In other words, you should feel free to adjust this as you like.

Kuku often has walnuts and dried barberries added to it. Dried cranberries would make a reasonable substitute. Sprinkle about a quarter of a cup of each over the top just before you bake it if you like. Kuku is often served with a dollop of yogurt. 

6 servings 1 hour - 20 minutes prep time; best to allow 20 minutes to cool as well

  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh dillweed
  • 1/2 cup green onions or chives
  • 4 cup packed spinach
  • 2 tablespoon soft unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • about 1/6 of a small nutmeg, finely grated
  • 8 extra large eggs

Wash and trim the leek. Cut it in slices. Rinse them and drain well. Heat the oil in a small skillet, and cook the leek pieces until they are soft and very slightly browned. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9" pie plate.  Wash, coarsely chop, and measure the fresh herbs and spinach. Put them into a food processor with the flour, salt and pepper. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds and add them, and grate in the nutmeg. Add the cooled leeks. Process until very finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Turn the chopped greens into a mixing bowl, and break in the eggs, a couple at a time, and mix them into the greens well. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until set. It will probably puff up, but it will subside again as it cools. This can be served warm or cold, but I think it's best to let it cool and set for at least 20 minutes before serving.  

For more inspiring, local recipes visit Jennifer Sanders' Blog, Seasonal Ontario Food.

- Jennifer Sanders, Seasonal Ontario Food blogger