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I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Salads

Watermelon and White Cheese (Feta) Salad; Karpuz, Peynir, Ekmek

Watermelon and Turkish white cheese (or feta) Salad;  Karpuz, peynir, ekmek

Watermelon and Turkish white cheese (or feta) Salad; Karpuz, peynir, ekmek

Watermelon, or karpuz, as we call it in Turkish, is a much loved summer fruit and my daughter’s favorite. I remember as a child, cooling the watermelon at my grandmother’s little fountain in her courtyard in Antakya (and we children dipping in and out of the fountain to cool down, along with the watermelon). We would eagerly wait for our cool slice of watermelon, and that heavenly very first bite into the sweet, refreshing fruit – happy days.

This is a typical, refreshing and delicious salad we Turks love. A very simple one too, with only watermelon, Turkish beyaz peynir, white cheese (or feta cheese) and a few fresh mint leaves in it. Ripe, juicy and sweet watermelon doesn’t really require any other dressing in this salad and complement the mildly salty white cheese or feta cheese very well. We love this salad as part of our summer Turkish breakfast, for lunch or as a side to grills. With fresh Pide bread, ekmek by the side, this watermelon and feta salad is one of the highlights of summer for me.

Beautiful flowers in Bodrum, Turkey

Beautiful flowers in Bodrum, Turkey

We will be off to Turkey shortly; I can’t wait to see family, friends and take in all the sights, smells and tastes my wonderful homeland offers. I wish you all a lovely summer in delicious food and company. I look forward to being in touch from home to share the delights of this magical land.

Stuffed grapevine leaves with aromatic rice and minced meat, Sarma

We will learn how to make Stuffed grapevine leaves with aromatic rice and minced meat, Sarma, during our  Turkish Cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School

Before I sign off; delighted to let you know that I will be teaching a feast of Turkish Cookery Classes with the wonderful Divertimenti Cookery School in London, on Tuesday 13th October and on Sunday, 13th December. Please save the dates, I would love to see you there, if you can. Places are limited and the bookings will be through Divertimenti Cookery School website as of 2nd September, you can see the class details at  Ozlem’s Turkish Table – Cookery Classes.

Afiyet Olsun, Happy Summer – Guzel bir yaz dilegiyle,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Watermelon and White Cheese (Feta) Salad; Karpuz, Peynir, Ekmek
 
Watermelon, karpuz is a much loved summer fruit in Turkey and this watermelon and feta salad is one of the highlights of summer for me. Ripe, juicy and sweet watermelon doesn’t really require any other dressing in this salad and complement the mildly salty white cheese or feta cheese very well. We love this salad as part of our summer Turkish breakfast, for lunch or as a side to the grills.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish Salads
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 slices of medium, ripe and cool watermelon
  • 200 gr / 7 oz. Turkish white cheese, beyaz peynir or feta cheese
  • Fresh mint leaves to decorate
Instructions
  1. Keep the watermelon in the fridge for 2 hours to cool, prior to cutting.
  2. Slice the watermelon and cut the skin. Take out the large seeds in the watermelon (smaller seeds don’t bother us and we leave, you can take them out if you prefer).
  3. Cut the watermelon into about 1 in (2,5 cm) cubes or small wedges. Place the watermelon in a serving plate.
  4. Drain the juice of the Turkish white cheese or feta cheese and cut into small cubes (again about 1 in/ 2,5 cm).
  5. Gently toss the feta cheese and watermelon in the serving plate and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh Pide bread or pita bread slices by the side. This refreshing salad is delicious as part of Turkish style breakfast or lunch. You can also serve watermelon and feta salad with grilled fish, meat and vegetables.
 

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Black eyed Bean Salad with Walnuts, Pomegranates; Borulce Salatasi

Black eyed beans salad with grated carrots, turnips, walnuts and pomegranate seeds - Borulce Salatasi

Black eyed beans salad with grated carrots, turnips, walnuts and pomegranate seeds; also gluten-free – Borulce Salatasi

So good to be back to blogging and sharing recipes with you all after quite a long while, with this refreshing, wholesome  and also gluten – free Black eyed Beans Salad, a recent hit in our home.

Our feast of Turkish food from my Online Turkish Cookery Course

Our feast of Turkish food from my Online Turkish Cookery Course

I had a busy but exciting start of the year with the launch of my online Turkish cookery course (a wonderful introduction to Turkish cuisine with 4 classic Turkish recipe demonstrations; a course you can do at your own time and watch unlimited times, with a special offer at the moment. Here’s a free preview of the course)

Making the smoked eggplant puree for the Ali Nazik Kebab at my Turkish cookery class in Austin.

Making the smoked eggplant puree for the Ali Nazik Kebab at my Turkish cookery class in Austin.

Another highlight of February was teaching a wonderful series of Turkish cookery classes in the US with the Central Market Cooking Schools in Austin, San Antonio and Houston. I was really touched and delighted to see the growing interest for Turkish cuisine and meet amazing Turkish food lovers, always a treat. My next stop is Amman, Jordan in March to teach a 5 day Turkish cookery workshop and a Turkish cookery class in May in England – greatly look forward to them all.

The black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean, or borulce; makes a wholesome, delicious salad

The black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean, or borulce; makes a wholesome, delicious salad

But now I am delighted to share this delicious, refreshing and wholesome salad we’ve been enjoying recently, featuring black eyed beans or borulce, as in Turkish. The black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean, or borulce is a legume, a subspecies of the cowpea. They are also known as the California Blackeye. They also have many health benefits; black eye beans are packed with fiber, protein, potassium and low in fat. Many good reasons to incorporate them in our diet.

Delicious and healthy black eyed beans salad with walnuts and pomegranates

Delicious and healthy black eyed beans salad with walnuts and pomegranates

This black eyed beans salad is a wholesome, refreshing and vibrant salad with plenty of zing. Grated carrots and bell peppers bring wonderful natural sweetness and work well with radishes, onions and crunchy walnuts. I love the tangy pomegranates molasses & olive oil in the dressing (you can make your own pomegranate molasses with my recipe here); all these flavor the black eyed beans beautifully. You can also add pomegranate seeds as I did in this salad; they add a great texture and taste.

I hope you enjoy substantial, delicious salad; Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Black eyed Bean Salad with Walnuts, Pomegranate; Borulce Salatasi
 
This black eyed beans salad, Borulce Salatasi, is a wholesome, refreshing and vibrant salad with plenty of zing. Grated carrots and bell peppers bring wonderful natural sweetness and work well with radishes, onions and crunchy walnuts. Pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses bring a tangy, refreshing flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish Salads with black eyed beans
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 175gr / 6 oz. / 1 cup dried black eyed beans
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped coarsely
  • ½ red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 spring (green) onions, chopped finely
  • 5 small radishes; quartered and sliced
  • ½ cup / 3 oz. / 90 gr pomegranate seeds
  • 40 gr/ 1.5 oz. / ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. pomegranate molasses – optional-
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the dried black eyed beans overnight in plenty of cold water.
  2. Next day, drain, rinse and put the beans into a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35 - 40 minutes. Drain and rinse the cooked beans in cold water to refresh and retain their texture.
  3. Stir in the chopped onions and green (spring) onions in a large bowl and add ½ tsp sea salt. Work the salt into the onions with your hands; this will soften the onions and make them more palatable in the salad.
  4. Stir in the rest of chopped vegetables to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Add the cooked black eyed beans, pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts to the bowl, combine well.
  6. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses over the salad, give a good mix.
  7. Check the seasoning and add more salt if required and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Stir in the chopped parsley and combine all gently. Afiyet Olsun!

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Halloumi Salad with peppers and tomatoes – Hellim Peynirli Salata

Halloumi Cheese Salad with rocket, peppers, spring onions, tomatoes; a delicious treat.

Halloumi Cheese Salad with rocket, peppers, spring onions, tomatoes; a delicious treat.

I love the distinctive taste of the halloumi cheese or hellim peyniri as we call in Turkish, it is such a treat. Originated in Cyprus, halloumi is a semi hard cheese, made from the mixture of goat and sheep’s and sometimes cow milk. As it has a high melting point, it is wonderful when grilled or lightly sautéed; a real treat we enjoyed while we were at the Aegean coast of Turkey.

Halloumi is a popular cheese also in the Middle East, as well as in Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. It is also good to see its increasing popularity in the UK and the US.

I like serving grilled or cooked halloumi with a plain, crunchy salad; it makes an easy, delicious starter or accompanies main courses well. Halloumi cheese has a distinctive, quite salty and rich taste and pairs well with sweet bell peppers, spring (green) onions and juicy tomatoes. Rocket, watercress, spinach all work well in this salad. A simple dressing of zesty lemon juice, oregano and olive oil is all you need as a dressing. You may also wish to sprinkle some red pepper flakes, Turkish pul biber over, if you fancy a spicy kick. Then close your eyes and imagine yourself at the Aegean or Mediterranean; it does the trick for me and tickles our taste buds every time.

Cook the halloumi  1 -2 minutes each side until nicely browned; serve immediately over the salad.

Cook the halloumi 1 -2 minutes each side until nicely browned; serve immediately over the salad.

Tip: The trick with the halloumi cheese is that you need to serve it as soon as it is grilled or cooked; while the cheese is warm and crispy outside and soft and juicy inside. If you wait longer, it will start to get harder and you will start to lose the texture and flavors. Therefore, make sure to get your salad ready first before cooking the halloumi cheese and serve straight.

Gumusluk, over looking Tavsan Adasi, Bodrum - Turkey

Gumusluk, over looking Tavsan Adasi, Bodrum – Turkey

I hope you enjoy this easy (and gluten-free) grilled halloumi salad, packed with flavor. And I hope it helps hanging on to that summer feeling, that sunny outlook, no matter the weather.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Halloumi Salad with peppers and tomatoes – Hellim Peynirli Salata
 
I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious and gluten - free salad with cooked Halloumi Cheese. Halloumi cheese is packed with flavor and as it has a high melting point, it is wonderful when grilled or lightly sauteed. Enjoy it over this simple salad with juicy tomatoes and sweet peppers. The salad makes a great appetizer or accompanies main courses well.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy and easy Mediterranean Salads with Halloumi Cheese
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 110 gr/ 4 oz. halloumi cheese, drained and pat dried with paper towel
  • 110 gr/ 4 oz. rocket, watercress or spinach leaves
  • ½ red bell (or pointy) pepper, ½ yellow or green bell pepper, deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 spring (green) onions, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. olive oil (to cook the halloumi cheese)
  • For dressing:
  • 30ml/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (you can use a little less if you prefer)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp. Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber or chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Crusty bread to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the rocket, spinach leaves or watercress (or a combination) in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the sliced peppers, chopped spring (green) onions and tomatoes, combine well.
  3. Add the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Toss well to combine everything thoroughly. Set aside until the halloumi is ready.
  4. Drain the juices of the halloumi cheese and pat dry gently with a paper towel. Cut the cheese into 6-8 small chunky slices.
  5. Pour in 1 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy pan over high heat.
  6. Once the pan is hot, add the halloumi slices and cook 1 -2 minutes each side until nicely browned.
  7. Place the cooked halloumi over the salad and sprinkle with red pepper flakes or chili flakes if you like.
  8. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
Notes
The trick with the halloumi cheese is that you need to serve it as soon as it is grilled or cooked; while the cheese is warm and crispy outside and soft and juicy inside. If you wait longer, it will start to get harder and you will start to lose the texture and flavors. Therefore, make sure to get your salad ready first before cooking the halloumi cheese and serve straight.

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