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Turkish Flat Breads with Spinach, Feta and Peppers; Peynirli Pide

Turkish flatbreads with feta, spinach, onion and peppers; Peynirli ve Sebzeli Pide

Turkish flatbreads with feta, spinach, onion and peppers; Peynirli ve Sebzeli Pide

Pide is one of the most popular snacks and our slow cooked “fast food” in Turkey. In Rural Anatolia and at my home town Antakya, locals would prepare the filling and take it to their local bakery, firin to be baked as these delicious flat breads with toppings. There are also “Pideci” Turkish flat bread shops that solely bake and serve these flat breads. Great value, delicious and nutritious, we can’t get enough of pides.

Feta cheese, onions, spinach and peppers make a delicious vegetarian topping for the Pide, Turkish flat breads.

Feta cheese, onions, spinach and peppers make a delicious vegetarian topping for the Pide, Turkish flat breads with toppings.

Pide can be made in various toppings; some favorite toppings are ground meat & onion (here is recipe for the Turkish flat breads with ground meat and onion, Kiymali Pide),Turkish kasar (cheddar) cheese, feta cheese & spinach, cheese and pastrami (Turkish dried beef), cheese and Turkish spicy sauage (sucuk). Sometimes an egg or two can be cracked over pide towards the end of baking too, as in some examples of Karadeniz Pidesi a specialty of a pide prepared in the Black Sea region.

Sade Peynirli pide; pide with mild cheddar cheese - one of the many we enjoyed while in Bodrum

Sade Peynirli pide; pide with mild cheddar cheese – one of the many we enjoyed while in Bodrum

We do enjoy this combination of spinach, feta, onions and pepper; sautéed onions and pepper add a delicious sweetness. There is also a gentle but lovely heat from the Turkish red pepper paste, biber salcasi (optional), for a delicious balance. You can also use grated mozarella or mild cheddar cheese instead of feta cheese. I hope you enjoy this vegetarian Turkish specialty, our version of pizza, packed with flavor and have a chance to recreate at home.

Turkish vegetarian flat breads with feta cheese, peppers, onion and spinach, Peynirli, Sebzeli Pide

Turkish vegetarian flat breads with feta cheese, peppers, onion and spinach, Peynirli, Sebzeli Pide

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Turkish Flat Breads with Spinach, Feta and Peppers; Peynirli Pide
 
I hope you enjoy this delicious, easy to recreate Turkish flat breads with vegetarian toppings; Peynirli ve Sebzeli Pide. They are the ultimate snack and our "to go" food, our version of "Pizza". Spinach, feta cheese, onions, peppers and a hint of red pepper paste make a delicious, healthy vegetarian topping; a real crowd pleaser.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish flat breads with vegetarian toppings
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 8 (makes 2 pides)
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 300 gr/ 15 oz. / 3 cups + 1 tbsp. all-purpose plain flour
  • 14 gr/4 tsp. dried yeast (2 packs of 7gr dried yeast)
  • 8 fl. oz. /1 cup warm water
  • 45ml/3 tbsp. olive oil
  • For the topping:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 200 gr/7 oz. spinach leaves, washed and pat dried
  • 200gr/ 7 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut in half lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. Turkish red pepper paste (optional; you can use ½ tsp. if you prefer less spicy or omit)
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt (optional, as feta cheese maybe quite salty too) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg + 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. olive oil to brush the pide
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F
  2. Stir in the dried yeast in a small bowl and pour in ½ cup warm water. Dissolve the yeast in water, mixing with your fingers. Set aside for the yeast mixture to get frothy for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in 2 tbsp. olive oil and the yeast mixture. Pour in the remaining ½ warm water to the flour mixture. Using your hands, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a dough. Knead for 3 -5 minutes, until you reach a soft, smooth dough. The dough gets sticky as you knead, so pour the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir in additional 1 tbsp. flour to help shape into a soft dough.
  4. Place the dough in large bowl and cover with a cling film. Leave it in a warm place for minimum 1 hour; it will be doubled in size.
  5. In the meantime, prepare your filling. Heat 15ml/1tbsp. olive oil in a wide heavy pan and stir in the onions and peppers. Sauté the onions and peppers for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, until they start to soften. Turn the heat off and stir in the spinach, red pepper paste (if using) and feta cheese, combine well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper; the topping is ready.
  6. Once the dough is risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for a minute then divide the dough into two pieces and roll into two balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough balls into 2 oval shapes of 20 cm x 40 cm (about 8”x16”), with ½ cm (0.2”) thickness.
  7. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and place the 2 oval flat bread dough on the tray.
  8. Spread the filling evenly over the 2 flat breads, leaving 2 cm at the edges as a border with no filling (I’ve found it’s easier to spread the filling while the oval dough is in the tray). Fold in the sides to act as border to keep the filling intact. Squeeze the oval dough at each end to make it pointy.
  9. Beat an egg in a small bowl and mix it with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Brush the edges of dough with this mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, until the pides golden brown and crispy at the edges.
  10. Once cool, cut into slices and serve.
 

 

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Slowing down in Bodrum, chasing the waves and local treats

Greetings from Bodrum – Bodrum’dan merhaba; we have been at Turgutreis in Bodrum for a few days. It feels so good to slow down and chase the waves.. Here are what we’ve been up to and some local treats. Most of them can be easily made at home, hope they inspire or bring a smile.

Beautiful pots and flowers of Turgutreis, Bodrum

Beautiful pots and flowers of Turgutreis, Bodrum

We are staying at my parents’ time share home in Turgutreis; Bodrum in general is a very popular holiday destination, though it is good to see Turgutreis still retains the village feel at places. My dad gets his daily egg and freshly picked tomatoes, peppers and aubergine at the nearby farm, from Fatma Teyze. And what a delightful commute walking at the beach for 15 minutes to get the fresh eggs..

Sevgi Baci's delicious gozlemes, Turgutreis - Bodrum

Sevgi Baci’s delicious gozlemes, Turgutreis – Bodrum

We can’t get enough of Sevgi Baci’s made to order Gozlemes, Anatolian flat breads with fillings; this time it is cheese and potato.

Kabak cicegi dolmasi; stuffed zucchini, courgette flowers with aromatic rice and onion

Kabak cicegi dolmasi; stuffed zucchini, courgette flowers with aromatic rice and onion

Have you ever tried stuffed courgette/zucchini flowers? It is a delicacy especially  in the Aegean region in Turkey; courgette flowers are stuffed with aromatic rice with herbs and onions, cooked and served with a slice of lemon, so fragrant and delicious.

Stuffed grapevine leaves with aromatic rice; Zeytinyagli Sarma

Stuffed grapevine leaves with aromatic rice; Zeytinyagli Sarma

Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice and onions filling, Zeytinyagli Sarma is another delicious mezzes we have been having; served with a slice of lemon, it’s such a delicious, refreshing treat. Here’s my recipe if you’d like to have a go.

Children queuing for stuffed mussels, Midye Dolma in Turgutreis, Bodrum

Children queuing for stuffed mussels, Midye Dolma in Turgutreis, Bodrum

Since the weather is warm, Zeytinyaglis, that is vegetables cooked in olive oil as well as sea food are to go food items. I loved seeing stuffed mussels with aromatic rice, served at the beach in Turgutreis. Also delighted to see the kids (including my children) queuing for them!:) Mussels here are stuffed in their shell with cooked rice & grated onion with spices; red pepper flakes and a hit of cinnamon. All you need is a squeeze of lemon and the whole plateful disappears within minutes.

Midye dolma; Stuffed Mussels

Midye dolma; Stuffed Mussels

Karpuz, peynir, ekmek; coolwatermelon, Turkish white cheese (try Ezine peyniri, if you can) and freshly baked bread.. This is a traditional and a very refreshing lunch or snack at home, especially in hot days and we have been enjoying our fair share. A delicious, refreshing and healthy lunch alternative.

Cool water melon, feta cheese and freshly baked bread - Karpuz, peynir, ekmek make a delicious, refreshing lunch

Cool water melon, feta cheese and freshly baked bread – Karpuz, peynir, ekmek make a delicious, refreshing lunch

How about eggs cooked with ripe tomatoes, green peppers, onions? Scrambled or left as a whole, they make such a delicious start for the day for Turkish breakfast. Here is my recipe for the scrambled egg with vegetables, Menemen.

Eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onion

Eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onion

Our local eatery in Avta – Turgutreis is wonderful. Kevser Teyze and Ismail Usta prepares freshly cooked casseroles, tencere yemekleri daily, using the local produce. We look forward to their food everyday!

Kevser teyze's freshly prepared casseroles

Kevser teyze’s freshly prepared casseroles

Karniyarik, Stuffed eggplants with ground meat and vegetables, dolma, stuffed peppers, kuru fasulye, Turkish bean stew with onions, tomatoes, peppers (also with meat if you like), okra with onions, peppers, tomatoes (also with meat as an option) all freshly made. It is so good to see these local eateries around and well worth hunting for them.

Delicious okra cooked with onions, peppers, tomatoes, with or without meat

Delicious okra cooked with onions, peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas with or without meat

We also made it to the beautiful Gumusluk. There is a wonderful art scene in Gumusluk, loved all the handmade art, crafts, pottery and tiles.

Hand made tiles and crafts in Gumusluk

Hand made tiles and crafts in Gumusluk

Gumusluk Unlu Mamulleri has been an amazing discovery; this wonderful bakery makes delicious boreks, pastries, simit and boreks; we got all these from them and enjoyed with cay by the harbor. Their rolled spinach pie, ispanakli borek was especially delightful.

Ispanakli kol boregi, Gumusluk Unlu Mamulleri

Ispanakli kol boregi, Gumusluk Unlu Mamulleri

Sunset is beautiful at Gumusluk and the walk to the Tavsan Adasi, we will be back.

Sunset at Gumusluk and the walk to the Tavsan Adasi

Sunset at Gumusluk and the walk to the Tavsan Adasi

These delicious lokmas; little dough balls soaked in syrup, are another specialty here; they have a light batter and you feel like you can eat the whole bowl!

Delicious lokma dessert of the Aegean

Delicious lokma dessert of the Aegean

How about the zucchini fritters with feta and dill, mucver? It is in abundance at the moment, and these delicious fritters are a real treat with a dollop of yoghurt aside.

Zucchini fritters with feta, onions and dill; Mucver

Zucchini fritters with feta, onions and dill; Mucver

One of the real treats of our Bodrum stay has been to have a chance to meet up with Alan and J of the wonderful blog Archers of Okcular. A keen nature lover, Alan’s blog inspires me a lot, as well as the wonderful projects they do, such as their Okcular Book Project. The sale of Alan’s brilliant Okcular Guide Book provides funds for the environmental and community projects in their Okcular village near Dalyan, as well as to the Okcular Primary School. It has been so wonderful to meet Alan and J in person; we chatted, ate, drank teas and coffees with my parents, who proved that language is no barrier! Happy days and thanks to them for coming over to see us.

A very memorable meet up with Alan and J of Archers of Okcular

A very memorable meet up with Alan and J of Archers of Okcular

Here is another delicious local treat we enjoyed, Sandal Sefasi, from Bodrum. This reminded me of the stuffed eggplants with ground meat, onions and tomatoes, Karniyarik – with a twist. This time halved eggplants are stuffed with cubed chunks of meat in onion and tomato sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, a slice of tomato and pepper, delicious!

Sansal Sefasi; stuffed eggplants with cubes of meat in tomato and onion sauce, topped with cheddar cheese

Sansal Sefasi; stuffed eggplants with cubes of meat in tomato and onion sauce, topped with cheddar cheese

Time to sign off to tend the children, eager to jump into the sea.

Gumusluk, Bodrum; with beautiful, crystal clear sea

Gumusluk, Bodrum; with beautiful, crystal clear sea

Until next time, Bodrum’dan Selamlar,

Ozlem

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Baked Turkish mini meatballs, koftes in pepper and tomato sauce

We Turks love our koftes, Turkish homemade meatballs. A childhood favorite, they get ready in almost no time and the delicious aroma greets you as soon as you are in the kitchen.

Mini Turkish meatballs, koftes; a delicious appetizer or a main course with rice aside.

Mini Turkish meatballs, koftes; a delicious appetizer or a main course with rice aside.

I recently made these baked mini koftes, meatballs for a friend, who follows a gluten free diet. They were delicious and moist in pepper and tomato sauce, also healthy, as being baked. You can serve them as a mezze, starter or bigger portions can make a lovely main course with some rice and steamed vegetables aside. Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt would complement these mini koftes very well too.

Baked mini koftes in pepper and tomato sauce.

Baked mini koftes in pepper and tomato sauce.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Baked Turkish mini meatballs, koftes in pepper and tomato sauce
 
These delicious Turkish mini meatballs, koftes are a real crowd pleaser. The pepper and tomato sauce make them moister; they are also gluten-free and healthy, as they are baked.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizers, Mezzes
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 225gr/ 8oz ground beef
  • 225gr/8oz ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 gr/14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 fl oz./1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil aside to shape the koftes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F
  2. In a large bowl, combine the grated onions, eggs and parsley and knead well. That will help soften the onions and blend the ingredients homogeneously.
  3. Stir in the ground meat, season with salt (about 1 – 2 tsp.) and ground black pepper to your taste. Knead for a good 3-5 minutes with your hands, until the mixture becomes elastic and mixed well.
  4. Cover this ground meat mixture with a cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and stir in the garlic and bell peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes, while stirring often.
  6. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and 8 fl oz./ 1 cup of water. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir, cover and simmer on medium to low heat for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
  7. Take out the ground meat mixture from the fridge to shape meatballs. Have a small bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil near you.
  8. Wet your hands and take a small walnut size of the meat mixture and roll into a ball. Place the meatballs in a baking tray ready cook side by side and continue until all the meat mixture is shaped into mini koftes, meatballs.
  9. Bake the mini koftes in the pre heated oven (180 C / 350 F) for 25 minutes, they will start to get a nice golden brown coating.
  10. Transfer the baked mini koftes in a large baking dish and pour in the pepper and tomato sauce around them, giving a gentle mix.
  11. Bake the mini koftes in tomato and pepper sauce for a further 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken, the flavors blend in and meatballs will have a wonderful coating.
  12. Serve hot with plain rice and Cacik dip of cucumber, yoghurt and mint if you like.
 

 

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