This frittata is a take on both the Persian kuku sabzi (herb frittata) and kuku bademjan (eggplant frittata). Once the eggplant is burnt, it really is just a matter of making the egg batter and sticking the whole thing in the oven, leaving you to prepare a few other bits (if you like) for a quick and easy showstopper of a brunch.
Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes | Serves 4–6
3 eggplants (2 lb/900g)
¼ cup/ 60ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
7 large eggs
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
8 cardamom pods, shells discarded and seeds finely crushed with a mortar and pestle
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 cups/ 40g parsley, roughly chopped
2 cups/ 40g fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup/ 20g dill, roughly chopped
2½ oz/ 75g green onions
(5–6), trimmed and finely sliced
1/4 cup/ 60ml heavy cream
salt and black pepper
2/3 cup/90g pomegranate seeds (from 1/2 pomegranate)
½ small red onion, peeled and finely chopped (1/3 cup/ 60g)
2 tbsp parsley leaves
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbsp dill leaves
1 tsp sumac
3 lemons: 2 tbsp juice, plus 2 cut into 4 wedges each to serve
1. Place a well-greased griddle pan on high heat and ventilate your kitchen well. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork, 8–10 times. Once smoking, grill the eggplants for 40–45 minutes, turning as necessary, until deeply charred and nicely softened. Set aside to cool.
2. Once cool enough to handle, leave the stems of two of the eggplants intact but peel and discard the skins. Transfer these two eggplants to a sieve set over a bowl, to drain off any excess liquid. Peel the remaining eggplant, discarding both the stem and skin, and roughly chop the flesh (you should have around 3 1/2 oz/ 100g). Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease an 8-inch/ 20cm springform cake pan and line with a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and sides. Brush the bottom and sides of the paper with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
4. Put the eggs, spices, flour, baking powder, garlic, herbs, green onions, cream, and 1 teaspoon of salt into a food processor or blender. Pulse just a few times, until well combined and the herbs are finely chopped. Use a spatula to stir in the chopped eggplant and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Pat dry the whole eggplants and sprinkle each one with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Gently lay these over the top of the herb batter, without pushing them in. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and bake for 30 minutes, until golden around the edges and cooked through the center. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the pomegranate salsa. Put the pomegranate and onion into a medium bowl with the herbs, half the sumac, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper and mix to combine.
6. Release the frittata from its pan and use the paper to help lift it onto a board. Spoon on the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, sprinkle with the rest of the sumac, and serve with the salsa and lemon wedges to eat alongside.
“Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things” Copyright © 2022 by Yotam Ottolenghi LLP. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Elena Heatherwick. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
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