Recipes    

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

Cookery Classes

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

Vegetables Cooked in Olive Oil

Potato, red onion, pepper and olive bake with cumin and chili flakes

Baked potatoes, peppers, red onion and olives with cumin and red pepper flakes

Baked potatoes, peppers, red onion and olives with cumin and  red pepper flakes

Merhaba to you all; this week, I would like to share this favorite easy, delicious all in one vegetarian course – Spiced potatoes, onions, pepper and olives baked in olive oil. Touch of warm, pungent cumin and spicy Turkish red pepper flakes add a lot of flavor to the vegetables here, especially to the humble potato, transforming their taste to a new level. The sweetness of peppers and red onions also give a lovely contrast to juicy, salty olives and complement one another really well. As always, it is all about using a few good, seasonal ingredients and you have a delicious, wholesome dish in hand in less than 1 hour.

Combine the spices and the seasoning with the vegetables and olives, giving them a good mix, before baking

Combine the spices and the seasoning with the vegetables and olives, giving them a good mix, before baking

You can serve this comforting, gluten-free course as a side to grills or as part of a mezze spread. It can be also be a delicious, light main course on its own with the Cacik dip of cucumber, yoghurt with dried mint and some crusty bread aside. You can also bake this dish ahead of time and give it a gentle reheat in the oven just before serving. Try to get good quality olives; Turkish, Italian, Spanish or Greek Kalamata olives all work well and really make a difference.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Potato, red onion, pepper and olive bake with cumin and chili flakes
 
Hope you enjoy this delicious all in one vegetarian course - Spiced potatoes, onions, pepper and olives baked in olive oil. Touch of warm, pungent cumin and spicy red pepper flakes add a lot of flavor to the vegetables here, especially to the humble potato, transforming their taste to a new level. You can serve this lovely, gluten-free course as a side to grills or as part of a mezze spread.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables baked in olive oil with spices
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1kg / 2.2 lb. medium potatoes, quartered
  • 2 medium red onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell pepper (or pointy pepper), deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 12- 14 good quality black olives, pitted and halved
  • 15 ml/ 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes (you can use more for a spicier taste)
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F
  2. Put the quartered potatoes in a large enough pan with plenty of cold water.
  3. Parboil or partially cook the potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a pan and stir in the sliced red onions and peppers. Sautee for 5 minutes, until they start to soften up, turn the heat off.
  5. Grease the baking tray with a good drizzle (about 2 tbsp.) of olive oil. Combine the parboiled potatoes, sautéed red onions, peppers and the pitted black olives in the tray. Include any remaining olive oil in the pan of the sautéed red onions and peppers to the baking tray.
  6. Stir in the ground cumin and red pepper flakes over the vegetables. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
  7. Using your hands, combine the spices and the seasoning with the vegetables and olives, giving them a good mix.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes at 200 C/ 400 F and serve hot.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Classes at Central Market Cooking Schools, TX – USA,
February 2015 (in Houston, Austin, San Antonio)

From Hearty Red Lentil Soup to Baklava in Milky Syrup, Sutlu Nuriye; Delights of Turkish Cuisine Made Easy

Look forward to returning Central Market Cooking Schools to teach Turkish Cookery Classes in February, 2015

Look forward to returning Central Market Cooking Schools to teach Turkish Cookery Classes in February, 2015

I am delighted to be returning to Central Market Cooking Schools in Texas, US in February 2015 to teach some delicious, wholesome examples of Turkish Cuisine, focusing on Southern Turkish Cooking.

Below is the schedule for my Turkish cookery classes:

Monday, February 16th, 6.30 pm – Central Market Cooking School in San Antonio – TX
Wednesday, February 18th, 6.30 pm – Central Market Cooking School in Austin – TX
Friday, February 20th, 6.30 pm – Central Market Cooking School in Houston – TX

You can view more details on these classes here; signing up for the classes will be through Central Market Cooking School website, as of 1st January 2015– please save the dates and I hope you can join us!

Continue Reading

Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) Beans Cooked with Vegetables

Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) beans cooked with onions, tomatoe and carrots in olive oil

Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) beans cooked with onions, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil

Barbunya pilaki, borlotti beans cooked in olive oil with tomatoes, onions and carrots, is my father’s favorite Zeytinyagli, Vegetables cooked in olive oil, Turkish style. Pilaki is a style of Turkish mezze, where vegetables and beans are mainly cooked with onions, garlic, tomato in olive oil, with a little addition of sugar, to balance the flavors. We serve pilaki garnished with herbs and wedges of lemon; the tangy, refreshing lemon juice is really a must here and complements borlotti, barbunya means so well. Turkey’s much loved Barbunya Pilaki is served at room temperature or cold as a mezze or appetizer.

Fresh barbunya beans (in stripy pink) at Besiktas pazari, Istanbul

Fresh barbunya beans (in stripy pink) at Besiktas pazari, Istanbul

In Turkey, you can get the fresh barbunya beans (in stripy pink) or borlotti beans in abundance in summer, at the farmers markets, Pazar. It’s my dad’s job at my parent’s home in Istanbul to pod them ready to be cooked and whoever is around joins in this therapeutic podding exercise. If you can’t get hold of fresh barbunya beans, try the dried borlotti (or cranberry beans, as they are called in the US) beans, like I have used here. They are easy to cook, wholesome and delicious.

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans

A variety of kidney beans, borlotti beans are a large plump bean that is pinkish-brown in color with reddish-brown streaks. They are packed with goodness, rich source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. If you are using dried beans, they need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight. If you are pressed with time or can’t get the dried or fresh borlotti beans, try a good quality canned borlotti beans in this recipe; it will still be a nutritious, delicious meal.

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Dried barbunya or borlotti or cranberry beans need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Traditional Barbunya Pilaki is quite a plain but delicious meal, mainly consisting of the beans, onions and tomatoes. I like adding carrots here, as their sweetness and texture goes well with barbunya. Our family loves Barbunya Pilaki therefore I tend to make a bit batch. It stays well in the fridge for good 3 days and as the flavors settle, tastes even better the next day. You can serve as part of a mezze spread, a delicious vegetarian and vegan course. We also enjoy Barbunya Pilaki next to grilled fish, meat and vegetables. If you choose to serve next to main courses, I suggest serving Barbunya Pilaki warm.

Barbunya Pilaki; borlotti or cranberry beans cooked with onions, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil.

Barbunya Pilaki; borlotti or cranberry beans cooked with onions, tomatoes and carrots in olive oil.

 I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious and wholesome Barbunya Pilaki.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 3 reviews
Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) Beans Cooked with Vegetables
 
Barbunya pilaki, borlotti (or cranberry) beans cooked in olive oil with tomatoes, onions and carrots, is a much loved Zeytinyagli, Vegetables cooked in olive oil, Turkish style. Pilaki is a style of Turkish mezze, where vegetables and beans are mainly cooked with onions, garlic, tomato in olive oil, with a little addition of sugar, to balance the flavors. This vegetarian and vegan dish is easy, delicious and packed with goodness. Serve as part of mezze spread or accompany grills.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables and beans Cooked in Olive oil, Pilaki
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 350 gr/12 oz./2 cups dried borlotti beans (or cranberry beans), soaked in warm water overnight
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered and chopped in small cubes,
  • 400 gr/ 1 can of good quality canned chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp sugar
  • 45ml/3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 fl. oz./2 cups water
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the dried borlotti (or cranberry) beans overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  2. Then drain the beans, rinse and transfer to a pot, filled with plenty of cold water.
  3. Bring the pot to the boil, partially cover the pot and simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes. Make sure the beans become tender, but not soft or mushy, they should still have a bite to them.
  4. Drain and rinse the cooked beans under cold water and set them aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in the pot and stir in the onions, sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, until they start to soften.
  6. Add the carrots, combine well and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the canned tomatoes and sugar, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine well.
  8. Add the beans to the pot and give it a good mix. Then pour in the water, combine well.
  9. Bring the pot to the boil; then turn the heat to low, cover the pan partially.
  10. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the beans are cooked (but not mushy). Check the seasoning and add a little more salt or ground black pepper if needed.
  11. Serve Barbunya Pilaki at room temperature or cold as part of a mezze spread or appetizer, garnished with chopped parsley and wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over. If you choose to serve next to main courses, I suggest serving Barbunya Pilaki warm.
Notes
If you are using dried borlotti (or cranberry) beans, they need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Continue Reading

Leafy greens with pepper and pine nuts; Inspirations from Antakya

Turkish food is based on fresh, seasonal produce with generous usage of nuts, legumes and olive oil.  I got some wonderful leafy, spring greens from the market the other day (similar to Swiss chard, though with tenderer leaves) and made this delicious greens cooked with onion and red peppers in olive oil, with pine nuts.

Leafy greens or Swiss chard with onions, peppers and pine nuts, cooked in olive oil

Leafy greens or Swiss chard with onions, peppers and pine nuts, cooked in olive oil

This dish is inspired by my hometown Antakya’s Zilk (similar to pazi, Swiss chard). Locals would use either leafy chard called zilk or spinach, including its entire stem. They may also add bulgur to make it a substantial meal.

I included sweet, juicy red bell peppers to my version, as well as the crunchy, creamy pine nuts, omitting bulgur. With a touch of zing from the lemon juice and a little heat from red pepper flakes, it turned out to be a very delicious vegetarian dish. We loved the crunchiness of the pine nuts here, they really complement the vegetables very well.

One of the participants attended my Turkish cookery class last Saturday was a Coeliac Expert and she was pleasantly surprised to see that Turkish cuisine offers a lot of good options for gluten-free diet. This dish is another good example.

Spices galore; at Antakya's historic Long Market, Uzun Carsi

Spices galore; at Antakya’s historic Long Market, Uzun Carsi

On a separate note, I am delighted to hear that Antakya – Hatay’s application to UNESCO to become a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy has now been approved. This will be a very well deserved recognition for the rich, varied Antakya cuisine. I hope you can make it to Antakya one day and experience all the culinary delights.

Delicious, refreshing & crunchy; leafy greens with pepers, onions and pine nuts

Delicious, refreshing & crunchy; leafy greens with pepers, onions and pine nuts

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Leafy greens with pepper and pine nuts; Inspirations from Antakya
 
I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious and refreshing vegetarian dish with crunchy pine nuts. It complements any grills (we enjoyed it with grilled salmon) as well as pasta, olives, cheese very well. This dish is also gluten-free.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish, gluten-free vegetarian courses
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 200 gr / 8 oz. spring greens (or Swiss chard, kale spinach), trimmed and finely chopped (including stems)
  • 2 small or 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper or pointy pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ juice of lemon
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. water
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • To serve:
  • 50 gr/ 2 oz. pine nuts
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pan. Stir in the onions and chopped bell peppers. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, they will start to soften.
  2. Add the chopped spring greens and mix well. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 tbsp. water, combine well. Cover and cook for a further 8 minutes under low to medium heat. The vegetables will still retain a delicious bite to them, turn the heat off.
  4. While the spring greens are cooking, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a small pan.
  5. Stir in the pine nuts and sauté under low to medium heat for about 3 minutes. Please keep an eye on the pine nuts, as they tend to brown quickly. Turn the heat off.
  6. Combine the pine nuts with the cooked greens, peppers and onions, mix well.
  7. Serve hot with red pepper flakes sprinkled over if you like. This dish is delicious with grills, fish and pasta. Olives and cheese aside go well too.
 

 

Continue Reading