Cookery Classes

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

Recipes    

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

Tag Archives | healthy Turkish mezzes

Turkish Mezze Night on 21st February 2017; hope you can join us!

Spinach and feta filo pastry pie; Ispanakli Borek

Spinach and feta filo pastry pie; Ispanakli Borek will be at our Turkish Mezze Night on 21st February.

I am delighted to let you know that I will be hosting a delicious Turkish Mezze Night on Tuesday, 21st February at the lovely Nest Home and Cafe in Ripley, Surrey – England, from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm. I am very much looking forward to welcoming everyone and sharing the delights of my homeland at this special night.

It will be an evening of enjoying a wide range of delicious and healthy Turkish Mezzes, which promises to be a very substantial meal, packed with flavor, focusing on Southern Turkish cuisine, where my roots are from. In addition, I will be talking on Turkish Cuisine, along with stories and traditions from my homeland. We will also have Turkish Wine by Melisa Fine Brands, Turkish Coffee by Ozerlat Coffee and my home made baklava with walnuts, for a delightful end. Nest Home and Cafe has wonderful shop attached to the Cafe, with a unique selection of treasures from handmade pottery, jewellery, books, home accessories so you can have a chance to browse their selection if you like too.

Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses is our welcome salad on 21st Feb.

Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses is our welcome salad on 21st Feb.

Menu :

Walnut and red pepper paste dip with cumin & olive oil on crackers – Muhammara

Spicy Bulgur Wheat Salad with Pomegranate Molasses (a delicious welcome salad from Antakya) – Kisir

Spinach and Feta Filo Pie – Ispanakli Borek

Aubergines and peppers cooked in olive oil with lentils – Mercimekli Mualla

Carcassian Chicken in Walnut Sauce, with red pepper flakes infused olive oil – Cerkez Tavugu

Home made Baklava with nuts

Turkish Wine by Melisa Fine Brands

Turkish Coffee by Ozerlat Coffee

Circassian Chicken with walnut sauce, Cerkez Tavugu, a delicious mezze to share on 21st February.

Circassian Chicken with walnut sauce, Cerkez Tavugu, a delicious mezze to share on 21st February.

Cost per person: 45 GBP (includes Turkish wine and Turkish coffee). Please email ozlem@ozlemsturkishtable.com for registration and payment.

Date : Tuesday, February 21st, 2017, 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm.

Place: Nest Home and Cafe  High St, Ripley, Woking GU23 6AQ  ( Free Parking at the Village Car Park off Rose Lane, as well as free parking on the Green next to the cricket pitch)

Participation for this Turkish Mezze Night is limited, so if you like to join us, please contact me thorough ozlem@ozlemsturkishtable.com for registration. This event is likely to sell out soon, so early registration is recommended.

Home made baklava is delicious, lighter and easier than you think, as we will have a go at our class

Home made baklava is delicious, lighter – look forward to sharing on our Turkish Mezze Night, 21st Feb.

I am greatly looking forward to welcoming you and sharing this delightful evening of Turkish food, along with stories from my homeland, I hope you can join us.

Ozlem1

My best wishes,

Ozlem

 

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

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

 

Continue Reading