E1: Kuku Sabzi with Rebecca

“Chlorophyll Punch”

October 15, 2019 | New York City

Rebecca Miller Ffrench certainly knows how to cook — she’s a talented cake baker and cookbook author, after all — but she has never cooked Persian food before, despite having enjoyed many a meal in the homes of Persian rug makers (her husband is a rug dealer). So Rebecca chose to kick off our pilot episode by learning how to make a classic kuku sabzi, a fresh herb-packed, baked egg dish, filled with dried barberries, walnuts, and saffron.  It’s a showstopper.


NOTES: theupstatetable.com (for a peek at Rebecca’s glorious cakes) and kalustyans.com, for Persian ingredients like barberries and advieh.

CULINARY QUESTIONS: Please post those on the Kitchen Radio FB page!


Kuku Sabzi
Serves 8

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
2 cups cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 cup roughly chopped fresh dill fronds and tender stems
6 scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
8 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few grindings of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon advieh (Persian spice blend), or add another ½ teaspoon turmeric if you don’t have
Large pinch saffron threads, ground in a mortar and pestle
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup barberries, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, drained

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat the bottom and sides of and 9-inch baking dish (round or square) with 4 tablespoons of the oil (the oil will pool on the bottom), and place in the oven to preheat.
  3. In a food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, dill, scallions, and garlic, and process until finely ground. Alternately, the herbs can be minced by hand.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, baking powder, flour, and spices, until well blended. Stir in the chopped herbs, walnuts, and barberries.
  5. Carefully remove the oil pan from the oven and pour in the batter. Return to the oven and cook until it is puffed and just set, about 30 minutes. Cut the kuku into 8 wedges and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the cuts; return to the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up.
  6. Let the kuku cool in the pan undisturbed for 10 minutes. When ready, run a thin knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto a plate or cutting board. Serve warm or at room temperature.