Sabzi khordan is a Persian herb platter usually served as an appetizer. Ready in 10 minutes, this abundance of herbs with cheese, walnuts and bread brings so much brightness to any table!
Persian cuisine uses herbs widely and in different ways. From sabzi polo (herb rice) and kuku sabzi (herb frittata) to ghormeh sabzi (herb stew) and ash reshteh (herb noodle soup), we use an abundance of herbs everyday in almost all our meals. Today I'm going to show you the simplest way we serve herbs, which is in the form of a platter called sabzi khordan.
Table Of Contents:
What Is Sabzi Khordan?
If you've visited any Iranian/Persian restaurants, you know the first thing they serve - which is usually free of charge - is sabzi khordan: a basket or platter of herbs, with some kind of bread such as barbari and some firm white cheese such as feta.
Sabzi khordan, which literally means edible greens is not only a recipe; it's a ritual. There's a process and the result is this abundance of herbs served with the main dish that everyone can share. To us, herbs are a lot more than just garnish, just like torshi (pickles), salad shirazi and mast-o khiar (yogurt and cucumbers), they're a big part of every meal.
This herb platter is a popular side dish in Iranian, Afghan, Kurdish, Azerbaijani and Armenian cuisines. There are so many ways to prepare sabzi khordan, some leave out the cheese and bread and only go for the herbs, which is also very delicious alongside the main dish.
The Components of Sabzi Khordan
- Herbs: This is the main part of the platter. You're free to use any kind of herb you please as long as they are well washed and dried. My favorite herbs to use are basil, tarragon, green onion, mint, cilantro, parsley and dill. I sometimes add sliced radishes as well.
- Cheese: I like to use feta since it's firm and easy to serve. Plus, it goes really well with the herbs. You can also do something extra and use marinated feta instead.
- Bread: Use any kind of flatbread including lavash, pide, pita or classic Persian barbari.
- Nuts: This is optional but I love adding some walnuts to the platter. The crunch and flavor complement the cheese and herbs very well.
How To Prepare Sabzi Khordan
- Wash and dry all of the herbs. Make sure to remove any thick stems including the mint stems.
- Place the herbs on a board or platter. Add the radishes as well if you're using them.
- Place the feta blocks in the middle of the board and add the walnuts.
- Fill the board with pieces of bread. Make sure they are not too big or too small.
How Do You Eat Sabzi Khordan?
As I mentioned before, sabzi khordan is beyond an appetizer. It's a ritual and an excuse to gather and share what's on the table. Everyone at the table can reach for a piece of bread and make a "loghmeh" which translates to "bite" using some cheese, walnuts and herbs.
Another way to serve sabzi khordan is to have everyone grab herbs, bread, cheese and nuts from the platter and onto their own plates.
I also love serving Persian herb platter as a light lunch or dinner, especially in summer or spring. It's filling, healthy and so satisfying!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can wash and dry the herbs ahead of time, wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep them in the fridge. Assemble the platter up to 1 hour prior to serving.
It's common to use savory, cress and leek chives as well. However, you can use any combination of herbs that's available to you.
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Sabzi Khordan (Persian Herb Platter)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch basil
- 2 bunches green onions
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 bunch tarragon
- 10 radishes
- 8 oz feta
- 1 cup walnuts
- Bread pieces to serve
- Wash and dry the cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, green onions, dill, tarragon and radishes. Cut the green onions in half and slice the radishes.
- Arrange the herbs on one side of the platter. Place the feta and walnuts in the middle of the platter.
- Fill the board with pieces of bread such as barbari or lavash.
- Serve as an appetizer or side dish.