Persian Herb Platter with Feta Whip (Sabzi Khordan)
April 16, 2024
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Nowruz, the Iranian or Persian New Year Celebration, centers around the spring equinox. Rooted in the Zoroastrian religion, Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years by people from all over Western, South, and Central Asia, as well as throughout the Black Sea Basin and the Balkans. The foods used to celebrate Nowruz vary throughout these regions, but this herb platter serves as a central feature on the Persian table. All these delicious components, when eaten together, form the perfect bite, known as ‘loghmeh’ in Persian. Traditionally served with slices of feta, here we’ve whipped it up into a dip, making for a very sharable platter that’s perfect as an appetizer, light savory brunch, or as part of a larger meal spread. Feta is packed with gut-healthy probiotics and serves as an excellent source of protein and calcium. Fresh herbs can help prevent and manage heart disease, lower inflammation, and combat diabetes and cancer. Feel free to adapt the accompaniments to your preferences. 

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer or as part of a larger spread.
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces feta cheese 
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or labneh (thick strained yogurt)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling 
  • 4 thin-skinned Persian cucumbers, sliced into spears
  • 1 seedless watermelon, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 6 radishes, cut into quarters 
  • 2 cups assorted fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley, dill, tarragon, cilantro)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 6 scallions, roots trimmed and sliced lengthways into halves 
  • 2 large flatbreads, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add the feta cheese, cottage cheese or labneh, the zest of the lemon plus half the juice, the garlic clove, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until totally smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Season to taste with more lemon, salt, or pepper if needed. Transfer to a bowl, smooth the top, and drizzle with olive oil. 
  2. On a large platter, arrange the arugula around the edges, and put the bowl with the feta whip in the center. Next, arrange the flatbread wedges, and alternate all the other ingredients around the dip. Keep chilled until serving.
  3. Enjoy!

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com