Monday, March 20th, marked the first day of spring and Persian new year! In Persian culture, we have beautiful meaningful traditions to celebrate new year and the arrival of spring, a time of rebirth and rejuvenation.
We prepare a cute spread called “Haft-Seen”, meaning seven-‘S’, that consists of seven items starting with the letter ‘S’ in Farsi.
The main items are:
- Sabzeh – wheat, mung bean, lentil, or barley sprouts growing in a dish: symbolizing rebirth
- Samanoo – sweet pudding made from wheat germ: symbolizing affluence
- Senjed – dried wild olive fruit: symbolizing love
- Sir – garlic: symbolizing medicine and health
- Sib – apple: symbolizing beauty
- Somaq – sumac fruit: symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
- Serkeh – vinegar: symbolizing old age and patience
There are often additional symbolic items added, which, although not the main part of Haft-Seen, complete the spread beautifully. Some examples are:
- Coins: symbolizing wealth and prosperity
- Hyacinth: a fragrant flower symbolizing the arrival of spring
- Painted eggs: symbolizing fertility
- Mirror: symbolizing self-reflection and introspection
- Candles for each member of the family: symbolizing enlightenment
- Sweets: symbolizing spreading sweetness
- Goldfish: symbolizing life
- A book of poetry or prayer
Here’s a glimpse of our tiny Haft-Seen spread from this year:
And of course, food plays a significant role in our new year’s traditions. The main dish served the night before or the day of is “sabzi polo mahi” (herbed saffron rice with fish) with a side of “kookoo sabzi” (herb frittata). There are LOTS of fresh fragrant herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill, and scallions that go into these dishes. Fresh herbs symbolize rebirth and fish symbolizes life, which is why these foods are chosen to celebrate the new year and beginning of spring.
Today, I’m sharing with you the recipe for kookoo sabzi or Persian herb frittata, which is not only super nutritious thanks to all the amazing greens and spices, but also incredibly flavorful with crispy edges and a fluffy center. The walnuts and dried barberries add a touch of sweetness and some crunch to the texture, making this frittata stand out from every other one you’ve ever had!
Even though it’s traditionally a side dish for Norooz (Persian new year), this frittata also makes a wonderful main that can be enjoyed as breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner any time of the year! It is usually served with flatbread, thick yogurt, pickles, or sauerkraut.
Hope you get a chance to try it out! And if you do, please leave me a comment below or tag me in your creations on Instagram or Facebook @nutriholist. Wishing you a healthy, happy, and green spring 🙂 XO
Persian Herb Frittata Recipe (Kookoo Sabzi)
Yields 8-10 slices
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 cup dill
- 1 cup scallions (or green onions)
- 1/4 cup romaine lettuce
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour (optional)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons dried barberries (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil, for cooking
- Add all the herbs and onion to the food processor and process until finely chopped. You can do this with a knife if you don’t have a food processor
- Mix the eggs and spices and process some more until properly combined. If not using a food processor, whisk the eggs with spices, then stir into the herb mixture. The batter should be green and thick. Add a bit of flour to thicken it up if it’s runny
- Pour in the chopped walnuts and barberries and stir to evenly distribute
- Add cooking oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, pour in the batter and cover for about 10 minutes or until the sides are set. Flip the frittata, and let it cook on the other side. Reduce the heat to medium-low after a minute on the other side, cover and let it cook for about 5 more minutes. You can also use the oven broiler instead of flipping if you prefer. In this case, watch the top closely to make sure it doesn’t burn
- Serve the frittata as a side dish or main with bread, Greek yogurt, pickles, or sauerkraut, and enjoy!