The kuku (pronounced like the bird) is a type of baked, puffed omelet that, depending on how much time you have to make it, can feature potatoes, onions, eggplant, green peas, garlic -- even pistachios. Like Italian frittatas or Middle Eastern eggahs, kukus can be served hot or cold as an appetizer, side dish or light main course.
Yogurt gives the mixture body and a creamy texture; saffron pumps up the eggs' bright and sunny color.
While the kuku's in the oven, compose a salade of blood orange or grapefruit sections, avocado slices and a citrus juice vinaigrette. Serve with bread.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron, threads-only
- 1 tablespoon just-boiled water
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/3 cup snipped chives (may substitute 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, white and tender green parts)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup Greek-style low-fat plain yogurt (may substitute 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt, drained for at least 30 minutes), plus more for garnish
- 1 to 2 teaspoons blanched slivered almonds
Pour the oil onto an 8-inch round or square oven-proof baking dish.
Place the dish on the oven's middle rack and preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
While the oil is heating, combine the saffron and water in a medium bowl, stirring to break up the threads. Add the eggs, flour, salt, pepper, chives and carrot, and whisk until well combined. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the yogurt and almonds, stirring to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the oiled baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center is just set. Divide portions among individual plates and top with a dollop of plain yogurt.
Serve hot or warm.
Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij's "New Food of Life" (Mage, 1992).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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