recipes

Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more
class

Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More
tours

Culinary Tours

The richness of history of the Turks is reflected through their cuisine. Discover this in Turkey.
Find out more

From Menemen to Izmir Kofte; delicious and easy Turkish meals when you are on the move

We have just moved in to our new home; very exciting yet also busy with packing and settling in. I gathered a few of my favorite recipes here that can be easily prepared, yet delicious and wholesome – I know I will be turning to them and knowing I have good food ready to enjoy & serve will give me peace of mind, at the end of a busy day. These dishes can also be prepared ahead of time or can be cooked all in one pot. I hope these also may inspire you for wholesome and easy meals; look forward to sharing new recipes from our new home soon!

Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, oninons and feta cheese, Menemen

Menemen; Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta cheese.

Menemen; Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta cheese.

What do you cook when you are loaded with boxes and busy unpacking? Well, this delicious scrambled egg and vegetables is packed with flavour, it is nutritious and gets ready in minutes. Menemen is one of my homeland’s favorite brunch item, and a great street food. There are many versions of it – garlic, onion, any choice of cheese, spinach would go well too. Served with nice crusty bread and a little garlic yoghurt by the side, this dish can make a wonderful light supper or a substantial lunch option.

Casserole of meatballs, peppers, onions and potato; Izmir Kofte

Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, onions, peppers and potato

Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, onions, peppers and potato

How about this melt-in-the mouth Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, peppers, onions and potato? This is a popular meatball and vegetable casserole (not only with the children but with the adults too!) that can either be cooked on the stove top or baked in the oven. It makes a complete and hearty main course served with plain white rice or a slice of crusty bread. Delicious, easy meal; you can add as much red pepper flakes as you would like for a spicier flavor.

 Zucchini fritters with feta, dill and green onions –  Mucver

Zucchini fritters with feta, spring onions and dill; Mucver; delicious

Zucchini fritters with feta, spring onions and dill; Mucver; delicious

Zucchini, kabak in Turkish, are very versatile, used in many dishes and their flowers are perfect for stuffing. This surprisingly easy and  wonderful vegetarian fritters, Mucver, are fantastic accompanied by garlic infused yoghurt or a leafy salad and crusty bread. You can enjoy them as a meze/appetizer for supper or light lunch dish. The bite size versions would be a great party / finger food too. They are also wonderful served next day as a cold snack. They are easy to make and delightful. Here is my Mucver recipe, if you’d like to give it a go.

Bulgur wheat pilaf with vegetables; Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Bulgur pilaf with onions, peppers and tomatoes, Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Bulgur pilaf with onions, peppers and tomatoes, Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Often confused with cracked wheat, bulgur wheat is a grain made from cooked whole wheat berries, which have had the bran removed, and is then dried in the sun and crushed. As it has already been cooked, it requires little cooking to reconstitute itself. It is available coarsely and finely ground. For pilaf, the coarser type is used, to create a nutty and delicious dish, which is a meal in itself and served with yoghurt. Bulgur has been a major staple in many rural areas in Turkey; during the Ottoman Period, the rice was a very precious commodity that only the rich could afford. This made the bulgur a very popular option and healthy one too. It is reach in fiber and provides good source of protein.  I love this delicious and wholesome bulgur pilaf with vegetables; you get a complete, satisfying meal in no time. You can serve Cacik dip, yoghurt with cucumbers and dried mint as a side for a refreshing accompaniment.

Eggplants, green lentils and vegetables cooked in Olive Oil; Mercimekli Mualla

Aubergine with green lentils, aubergine onions and peppers; Mercimekli Mualla- such a delicious treat

Aubergine with green lentils, aubergine onions and peppers; Mercimekli Mualla- such a delicious treat

We have a whole section in Turkish cuisine called “Vegetables cooked in Olive Oil”, Zeytinyaglilar, where we cook vegetables in olive oil and serve them either cold or at room temperature. Once cooked, it is important for the dish to cool down in its pan and rest, allowing all the flavors to blend. Usually served with a wedge of lemon, this style of cooking is very healthy, tasty and refreshing. This traditional recipe, Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla, is from Antakya, Southern part of Turkey, where my roots are from. The amazing flavors of green lentils, olive oil, eggplant and dried mint blend so well and take me back to Antakya immediately. Again, all-in-one-pot, delicious vegetarian meal you can prepare ahead of time.

Turkish beans salad with vegetables, olives, boiled egg in sumac dressing; Fasulye Piyazi

Bean salad with onions, tomatoes, olives and boiled eggs - Fasulye piyazl

Bean salad with onions, tomatoes, olives and boiled eggs – Fasulye piyazl

What do you cook when you have limited time? Well, this bean and vegetable salad, fasulye piyazi, can be ready in a flash, it is very delicious and healthy. At home, traditionally we serve fasulye piyazi with grilled meatballs, koftes. There are traditional restaurants, lokantas, at home that solely serve Turkish style meatballs, fasulye piyaz and pickled cucumber and peppers. This salad is also a great alternative for lunch, served with some nice crusty bread or in can be a part of a meze spread. I would happily have this salad with some nice bread aside for a light supper.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts – Cevizli kayisi tatlisi

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; delicious, easy and packed with goodness.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; delicious, easy and packed with goodness.

One of Turkey’s most prolific fruits is the apricot. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world. Apricots are great snacks; they are packed with fiber, antioxidants and their naturally rich, wonderful flavor is icing on the cake. This delicious & easy baked dried apricots with walnuts dessert is great for sharing with friends and family or just indulging yourself.

Delicious, frothy Turkish Coffee – Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

Turkish Coffee, Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

Turkish Coffee, Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

For me, nothing more relaxing than taking a break with a  nice cup of Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi is one of the most popular traditional drinks at home in Turkey and I love the whole ritual, the experience of it. In Turkish, we have a saying “Bir fincan kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir” which means “The memory of a good cup of Turkish coffee lasts 40 years”. Turkish coffee is a drink of friendship; you are offered this traditional, aromatic drink wherever you go in Turkey; when visiting friends and family, in the shops, while waiting in the bank, in hairdressers.. We take time to pause and enjoy this special drink with a friend or family or sometimes simply reflect with every precious sip. A glass of water and Turkish Delights, Lokum by the side complete the Turkish coffee ritual. And I always look forward to putting the feet up and enjoy a sip of Turkish coffee at then end of a busy day.

Afiyet Olsun!

Ozlem

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 Responses to From Menemen to Izmir Kofte; delicious and easy Turkish meals when you are on the move

  1. jaz November 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    good thing i am making breakfast right now because this made me very hungry!

    • Ozlem Warren November 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Menemen is great for breakfast Jaz – and in my case, perfect for lunch and dinner too! hope you enjoy it :)

  2. A Cat From London November 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Wish you a happy, healthy, lucky life at your new home. They all look delicious. İzmir köfte in winter and mücver in summer are two meals we cook frequently also at home.
    Happy new life!

    • Ozlem Warren November 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Many thanks – cok tesekkurler! We are excited to be in our new home, getting settled, figuring things out. Love mucver too, appears in our home so often : ) cok selamlar, Ozlem

  3. Claudia November 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    What a lovely post, Özlem! How you had the time to write it, amazes me! All such lovely ideas with pictures too: I go for Izmir köfte every time but also love your mercimekli mualla: that’s an unusual combination, the eggplant with a pulse. Super! And I so agree with you about Turkish coffee: basically with me, it’s the whole ritual of the thing that I find so appealing, also with çay I must confess. Good luck with the move, good luck with the cooking! Wonderful!

    • Ozlem Warren November 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      Such a lovely note Claudia, thank you ever so much; cooking and sharing is a wonderful thing, writing the post was a great break from packing & unpacking!:) I love mercimekli mualla too; eggplants go so well with the pulse, a great vegetarian course. And yes,even the thought of Turkish coffee gets me excited :) Many thanks again, cok selamlar, Ozlem

  4. Peri's Spice Ladle November 19, 2013 at 4:16 am #

    So glad the move is taking place smoothly, dear Ozlem, and I agree, such times need the joys of comfort food and a home cooked meal. All my favorites in this post, the zucchini fritters being a common sight at our table too:) Thinking of you all…happy moving! XxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren November 19, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Thank you Peri, getting there one step at a time – glad you enjoyed the post; love the zucchini fritters too : ) Ozlem xx

  5. seniordogsabroad November 19, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Özlem, What a terrific post. Really a brilliant idea to combine the idea of being busy (in your case, moving – how did you find the time to do this post?) with wonderful, easy recipes. I particularly like the bulgar with vegetables and the eggplant dish. I’ve had guests and other business lately which has kept us very busy so I’ve been a bit harried about dinner so tonight, we’re having the bulgar. Thanks!

    • Ozlem Warren November 19, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Merhaba Jolee, thank you – the bulgur with vegetables is such an easy, delicious comfort food, it has been my to go meal along with menemen especially. Lentils & eggplant dish, another favorite, you may like the flavor combinations there – it also keeps well in the fridge for a good few days, perfect! My best wishes, cok selamlar, Ozlem

  6. Barbara November 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Özlem – all the luck in the world for you and your family in your new home. If I were closer I would bring you salt, bread and a penny that you’d have to keep in a corner of a cupboard during the time you live in that house. It is an old German custom so that food (bread), the spice of life (salt) and money (penny) will never run out!

    • Ozlem Warren November 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      What a beautiful tradition Barbara, how I wished you could just pop in : ) many thanks, so kind of you!:) Ozlem xx

  7. BacktoBodrum November 20, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    You really deserve the title Domestic Goddess or Superwoman – Moving and posting!

    • Ozlem Warren November 20, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      :) This really is my “time-off” :); so great to pause from settling in and unpacking and share & chat with you all : ) Cok selamlar, Ozlem x

  8. Phil in the Kitchen November 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    That’s a fine selection of easily prepared dishes. When I moved into our current house I seemed to spend most of my time in the local restaurants because I hated the kitchen so much. Fortunately, we had it replaced quickly. I wish you every happiness in your new home and many fine memories that last even longer than 40 years.

    • Ozlem Warren November 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Thank you so much Phil, enjoying it – and also have a plan to extend the kitchen sometime soon, thanks for your kind words.

  9. TasteofBeirut November 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    every single one of these images is mouthwatering! reminds me I bought some Turkish coffee recently and it was delicious!

    • Ozlem Warren November 26, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Merhaba Joumana, thank you – Turkish coffee is a favorite drink for me too, love the whole ritual of it! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Leave a Reply