White zucchini omelette with mint & melting Gouda

White zucchini omelette with mint & melting Gouda

New Feast
Alan Benson

We learnt to make kuku-ye sabzi, one of Persia’s best-loved omelettes, during our travels around Iran. It is similar in texture to a frittata, thick with herbs and leafy green vegetables (sabzi means ‘greenery’ in farsi), and sometimes comes garnished with walnuts or barberries. We love to add grated zucchini – especially white zucchini, which are more delicate and less bitter than the dark green variety – although either will do. Cheese is a deviation from the purist Iranian kuku but, hot from the oven, its melting softness is irresistible. Try to find a cumin-flavoured Gouda if you can.

A non-stick, ovenproof frying pan – no more than 20 cm in diameter – is ideal for making kuku. We’ve also made this very successfully in a non-stick cake tin.


Quantity Ingredient
100ml olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried mint
350g white zucchini, coarsely grated
4 eggs
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
200g cumin-flavoured gouda, grated
greek-style yoghurt, to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat half the oil in a frying pan over a low heat and fry the onion until it softens. Stir in the nutmeg and mint and fry for another minute. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Pour the remaining oil into a non-stick, ovenproof frying pan and heat in the oven for 5–10 minutes.
  4. Squeeze the grated zucchini firmly to remove as much moisture as possible. Whisk the eggs until frothy in a large bowl. Whisk in the flour, lemon zest, salt and pepper, followed by the zucchini, onion mixture and cheese. The mixture will be quite sloppy.
  5. Pour the mixture into the hot oil. Cover the pan with a lid or some foil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until nearly set. Remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown the surface.
  6. Cut into wedges and serve hot from the pan with thick yoghurt. Alternatively, drain on kitchen paper and cut into wedges when cold to serve with pickles or relish. Spicy carrot pickle or eggplant relish would work very well.
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