I’ve been sitting on this recipe too long. These past few weeks of summer break have gone by in a flash since Bret and I have been working together on Augur’s Lore. Developing, editing, promoting, designing, and testing this beast of a game is a full-time(+) job that doesn’t pay [yet(?)], but it’s work I’m so excited for and proud of. We’ll release Song of the Pale Stone, the first game in the Augur’s Lore series, in just less than 100 days from now. It’s scary and thrilling and silent and loud as it always is when you dive in head first, eyes open. I can’t wait for people to play this game with us. Follow Augur’s Lore on Twitter if you’re interested in checking it out!
For now, while spring’s still just within sight: a kookoo. Never heard of kookoo? Say hello. It’s Iranian in origin, it’s eggy but not overwhelmingly so, and it’s super flavorful without being heavy on spice. I got acquainted with kookoo by way of the gorgeous Persian cooking blog Bottom of the Pot. I’ve learned it’s a really good way to get through an especially bulky CSA delivery or the overgrowth of garden herbs (I don’t think I’ll ever throw away a wilted bundle of cilantro again). If you have a food processor (or a lot of patience and a decent knife), you can make this. There’s nothing fancy about it, and still, it has a magical sort of way of turning a half dozen eggs and a few veggies into many, many savorable meals.
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 large head of broccoli, cauliflower, or ½ head each (totalling about a pound)
- 2 bunches cilantro
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flour (all-purpose, or rice flour for gluten-free)
- ⅓ cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, soaked, rinsed and dried (optional)
- 6 large eggs, lightly whisked
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook till soft and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the mint, then turn off the heat and scrape the onions to large mixing bowl. Set aside--but don't worry about washing--the skillet.
- Roughly chop the broccoli (florets and stems) and/or cauliflower. If your broccoli is woody or tough, you can peel the outer layer of the stem with a standard vegetable peeler. Put about half of the broccoli/cauliflower (or whatever batch size is appropriate for your machine) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped--it should have a texture like coarse flour, without being mushy. Repeat with remaining broccoli/cauliflower. Add pulsed veggies to the mixing bowl.
- Chop the cilantro--stems and all--just once or twice, then place in the food processor bowl. Pulse pulse pulse until very finely chopped, then place in the mixing bowl.
- Add the cooked onion and all remaining ingredients except eggs to the bowl, stir until well mixed. Add the whisked eggs and mix again. Naz says the mixture should have the consistency of thick (Greek-style) yogurt: "not too dry but not too loose either".
- Pour ¼ cup olive oil in the skillet and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Pour the kookoo mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. Set it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove skillet from oven; the kuku should be set. Cut it into eight equal slices, then drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil between slices. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, then turn on the broiler for 5 minutes to get a nicely browned top (I don't bother moving the skillet to the top rack while broiling).
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of rice and plenty of Frank's (or your favorite hot sauce), or a dollop of yogurt.
If you don't like cilantro, use fresh parsley instead (the curly kind is more flavorful and less bitter, I think).
Where I use cranberries, traditional recipes call for barberries. If you're lucky enough to find them dried, just soak in water to reconstitute, drain, rinse, and pat dry before using.
Likewise, I use pecans (because I think they pair nicely with cranberries, and here in the South I have reliable access to them) in place of walnuts. Take your pick, or the skip the nuts altogether.
Adapted from Broccoli koo koo - Bottom of the Pot
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I hope you’re finding (or making) peace this week; there’s weird energy and weird weather floating around this time of year. Stay safe, stay fed.