If you are familiar with Persian food or have Persian friends you know what Sabzi Khordan is. You must have at least tried it or are interested in trying it? Sabzi means herbs, Khordan is a verb and it means to eat, but put them together and it means fresh herbs that Persians love to eat with a variety of Persian meals.
Sabzi Khordan can be as simple as piazcheh (scallions), jafari (parsley), geshneez (cilantro), and torobcheh (radishes). At least theses are the herbs that these days you can readily find in most American supermarkets. Many years ago when I moved to U.S. even cilantro was a novelty.
These days you might be lucky enough to find fresh herbs such as shivid (dill), reyhan (basil), nana (mint), and even tareh (Persian chives) in most states.
Persians also love their Sabzi Khordan in a very simple rustic form, with a humble chunk of feta cheese and Sangak (Persian flat bread), lavash, tortilla, pita or nann bread. If some kind of flat bread is not available, a loaf of crusty baguette will do too! Because you see, Persian food is not all about fancy kabobs, expensive saffron, rare cardamom, unusual rosewater, or other exotic spices; Persian food is also about simple and modest ingredients that are pleasing to the palate.
So here is a priceless tip to anyone who intends to make a memorable meal for a Persian friend: Yes we can be sophisticated with our food, but we also appreciate very simple culinary pleasures. Say it is the first time you are trying your hand at a Persian food like Khoresh Gheymeh, Baghali Polo, or something that you are not sure how it will turn out. Let’s say you have an assortment similar to what you see in this picture, chances are you are going to make a lasting impression, it really is that simple. Persians love their Sabzi Khordan, torshi (pickled veggies), piaz (raw onion), panir (cheese, particularly Feta), and of course some kind of flat bread like Sangak, or a good crusty baguette.
So what if the rice turns out mushy, the khoresh is not quite ja oftadeh (ready), or that the beloved Persian TahDig is too soft or scorched? Relax! You can impress with an assortment of fresh herbs, Sabzi Khordan, feta cheese, some bread, and if you like nuts add some walnut halves to the tray! If you’re lucky to be living in warmer climates you might even add some tarkhoon (French tarragon), marzeh (summer savory), or shahi (garden cress) to your platter, and your sofreh (table) will look mighty inviting to most Persians. Spring is almost here, plant some herbs and treat yourself and your Persian friends to some Sabzi Khordan!