Noon o Panir o Sabzi (Persian bread, cheese and herbs): Eating Iran

by Karen on Friday, August 13, 2010

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Noon o panir o sabzi sustained me through all four years of college.  I lived off this stuff and continue to eat it today!  The key to this delicious sort of open faced veggie sandwich is fresh bread and herbs.  I am lucky enough to have access to freshly baked Persian sangak bread, but you can replace with any other thin fresh bread or lavosh or pita.

Sangak is a chewy sourdough flatbread that was traditionally baked over hot pebbles in an oven; sangak meaning “little stone” in Persian.  This bread was traditionally eaten by the Persian army.  Each soldier would contribute a small bag of pebbles to the oven and the resulting bread would be eaten with meats.

Don’t let the simplicity of noon o panir o sabzi fool you, it is deliciously addictive!

Sangak bread, cut into big squares and lightly toasted (or lavosh or pita if you can’t get sangak)
– French feta (this is softer and milder than Greek feta and is available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s)
– slices of tomato
– a bundle of lemon basil (available at Persian markets, or substitute with regular sweet basil if you can’t get any lemon basil.  The flavor is distinct so I recommend you try it!)
– a bundle of dill
– a bundle of mint
– a bundle of tarragon
– a bundle of cilantro
– a bundle of green onions
– radishes

Remove the thicker stems from the herbs.  Wash and dry all the fresh herbs together.  Assemble by spreading the feta on the bread topped with slices of tomato and a handful of mixed herbs.


alarica August 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

MMMMMmmm i’m hungry. feed me!!!!!

Min August 13, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Those radish look so happy!

Karen August 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

They’re actually easy to do! Just make the incisions and soak them in cold water for a while.

Ashlie August 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

My persian hubby has noon o panir o gerdu – bread with feta and walnuts – for breakfast often! Noon or panir o sabzi was one of my favorite lunches before I found I couldn’t eat wheat or dairy – what a bummer, huh? Your post brings back good memories 🙂

Ashlie August 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Me again! I just read more about your blog and realized I heard an interview with you on NPR a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to find your blog every since. I love the concept of your blog and I’m excited to poke around. I have several very popular Persian recipes on my blog in case you are interested: Gormeh Sabzi (green stew), Khoresht a bademjan (eggplant stew), and Chello Kabob (ground meat kabob with rice). My url is

P.S. My husband is very jealous that you have access to fresh sangak!

Karen August 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Oo, no dairy in a Persian household?! How do u do it?! I’d be too tempted. I saw your gormeh sabzi recipe and I LOVE that stuff– I will have to try it soon and thanks for sharing your wonderful blog!

Karen August 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Also, don’t think that was us on NPR 🙂 (although I wish it was!) But glad you found us anyway…

Jessica August 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Your photos look very appetizing! I love delicious flatbreads, especially when topped with hummus, herbs and veggies. Thanks for the tip on the lemon basil..I will have to be on the lookout for it.

Karen August 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

No problem– I’ve never seen lemon basil outside a Persian market, so if you find it elsewhere do let us know!

Golnar August 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Hey Karen, I find that sometimes when far from a Persian store but close to SE Asian stores (i.e. when living in Queens) I can find lemon basil in Thai/Indonesian/Laotian owned markets. (P.S. The blog looks awesome. Well done!)

Karen August 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm

O nice, thanks for the tip Golnar!!

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Deana January 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

Do you know how jealous I am of you that you live in LA and can get sangak there?! We always buy a ton when we are down there and then bring it home, cut it up, freeze it, and then ration it out until the next trip to LA!

Karen January 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

O well next time I come up I will definitely bring you some!!

Curls February 2, 2011 at 12:01 am

Great blog ladies! I have recently come back from Iran and I lived off noon o panir o gerdu! I’m really enjoying your Middle Eastern section! Kudos!

Karen February 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thank you!

Charles May 28, 2011 at 2:01 am

OK, I couldn’t agree more the combination of bread, cheese and greens is unbeatable.
Be unsociable and have spring onion with it too, your taste buds will be most grateful.
Have it for a snack, lunch and if pushed for a light dinner!
Perfect at any time.
I am an Armenian, originally, from Tehran and have been in UK for several decades.
I am having withdrawal pangs though as I miss sangak bread and can’t find it here, specially in Dorset where I am currently.
Can anyone help?
I’d be most appreciative, but for now have to console myself with my favourite Yemeni Matari coffee.
Look forward to hearing form you and thanks for the post as well as the opportunity to comment.

vee August 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

This reminds me of a Mexican version (mine at least). I think you will like it.
crumbly white, non-bitter cheese (Queso doble crema, we call it)
red tomato salsa
Prepare like the Persian version but do warm the tortillas before. Enjoy!

Robert November 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Wow…I got hungry by the time I finished
Here is a website I use for Persian recipes (for anybody out there that might have a need):

aLI June 27, 2013 at 4:40 am

The wonderful thin is that the color is look like to iran’s flag.

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