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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/ 10½ oz + 2 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 2 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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Greetings from Istanbul! Sights, people and food, glorious food

The Bosphorus bridge, Kiz Kulesi - the Maiden tower and the glorious Bosphorus

The Bosphorus bridge, Kiz Kulesi – the Maiden tower and the glorious Bosphorus

Istanbul’dan merhaba! Home, sweet home; I think the more I age, home, my roots calls me even more eagerly, it is wonderful to be back home. Here are a few snap shots of what we have been up to.

It’s been only a few days since we’ve been here and we managed to fit in a lot of family visits and said “Mutlu Bayramlar.” I especially enjoyed having a chance to visit the elderly with the children, hearing their stories to them, such precious moments to savour. Istanbul is the place to be during the Bayram holiday as most folks left for holidays. So wonderful to be able to enjoy the city minus the traffic.

Cay, peynirli borek and pogaca; a very warm welcome home

Cay, peynirli borek and pogaca; a very warm welcome home

Cay, peynirli borek, Turkish tray bake pastry with cheese and parsley and pogaca made a very warm welcome home.

Turkish mezzes and vegetables cooked in olive oil

Turkish mezzes and vegetables cooked in olive oil

One of the things I very much long is enjoying a vast array of freshly prepared mezzes and enjoying them along the Bosphorus. With a beautiful breeze and friends and family nearby, it is heavenly.

Enjoying a glass of cay and Turkish breakfast at Rumelihisari, Istanbul

Enjoying a glass of cay and Turkish breakfast with dear friends at Rumelihisari, Istanbul

I was grateful that a few dear friends were still in Istanbul during Bayram and we enjoyed a long, leisurely Turkish breakfast and multiple glasses of cay at Rumelihisari, Sade Kahve.

Sigara boregi, ciborek, freshly squeezed orange juice and many more; Turkish breakfast

Sigara boregi, ciborek, freshly squeezed orange juice and many more; Turkish breakfast

Gozlemes, Anatolian flat breads with fillings are made at the oval sac oven in front of you, with an infectious smile. Impossible to pass on.

Ciborek with a smile

Ciborek with a smile

Gozleme; Anatolian flatbreads with fillings

Gozleme; Anatolian flat breads with fillings

And we’re off again; this time taking the ferry, vapur, to visit our dear, elderly aunt with the children. I love traveling with the traditional ferries, vapur; it is nostalgic, offers spectacular views and a wonderful way to be a part of the local life. The ferry itself promises a lot of fun and excitement to us all. Children loved looking at to the sights with the ferry’s telescope – only 1 TL –

The traditional ferries, vapur, is an ideal way to cross the Bosphorus

The traditional ferries, vapur, is an ideal way to cross the Bosphorus

My son trying the telescope at the ferry

My son trying the telescope at the ferry

Of course, one can also have a delightful glass of cay and Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings to nibble while on the ferry – again, served with a wonderful smile.

Simit and a glass of cay at the ferry, vapur - one of my favorite rituals

Simit and a glass of cay at the ferry, vapur – one of my favorite rituals

Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, over the Bosphorus

Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, over the Bosphorus

Once in Kadikoy, we decided we need more Simit; so popped in the local bakery to get some more, along with some white cheese, beyaz peynir and tomatoes for the afternoon tea at our Meskure Hala, our dear aunt.

Freshly baked Simit at the local bakery, firin

Freshly baked Simit at the local bakery, firin

The following day started with a visit to Besiktas; I love Besiktas Carsisi; it’s market, small scale shops, fish monger and endless eatries. It has a village feel where folks greet one another, get their daily bread from the bakery, firin, the Turkish coffee and nuts from the local kuruyemisci; the list goes on and on. I got lost for words at Simit Molasi Cafe – Sigara Boregi; pastry rolls with cheese and parsley for us. And more simit, if one desires more.

Sigara boregi, cheese rolls with filo pastry and Simit, sesame encrusted Turkish bread rings galore at Simit Molasi, Besiktas

Sigara boregi, cheese rolls with filo pastry and Simit, sesame encrusted Turkish bread rings galore at Simit Molasi, Besiktas

Next stop is Ortakoy;  lovely to see the restoration at the Ortakoy Mosque is compiled – looks fascinating.

Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul

Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul

If you’re after a really good quality Turkish delight, have a look at Yeni Ugur Helvacisi in Ortakoy; I loved their new Turkish delight with pomegranates, they are packed with flavor. If you fancy making your own Turkish Delight, here is my home made Turkish Delight recipe.

Freshly ground Turkish coffee at Meraklilar Kuruyemiscisi, Ortakoy - Istanbul

Freshly ground Turkish coffee at Meraklilar Kuruyemiscisi, Ortakoy – Istanbul

Last stop, freshly ground Turkish coffee at Meraklilar Kuruyemiscisi, Ortakoy; smells heavenly. Hope you enjoy yours, Turkish coffee really is more than a drink – afiyet olsun!

 A delightful visit to Burgazada, Burgaz Island

It’s our last day in Istanbul before we depart for Bodrum and we took the ferry to Burgazada, one of the Princes’ islands  near to Istanbul. Children got very excited with the prospect of getting on the ferry again and riding bicycle in the Island. We had a special purpose of this visit too, as we arranged to meet up with dear Mark and Jolee from the wonderful blog Senior Dogs Abroad. Mark and Jolee live in Istanbul and blog about the life in Turkey as well as world affairs, they’re a pleasure to follow, a delightful company.

Charming horse carriages at Burgazada

Charming horse carriages at Burgazada

No vehicles are allowed in the island except the horse carriages and bicycles, which makes the islands even more inviting; a breath of fresh air.

Friday is the Market day, Pazar in Burgazada and I am grateful that the Senior Dogs kindly guided us to the right direction! Fresh, breathtaking produce galore; one can easily spend a day there, just wonderful.

Market day in Burgazada; fresh produce in abundance

Market day in Burgazada; fresh produce in abundance

Sivri biber, green pointy peppers and eggplant, patlican at Burgazada.

Sivri biber, green pointy peppers and eggplant, patlican at Burgazada.

Preserved vine leaves, ready for stuffing, so inviting – presented with a wonderful smile.

Vine leaves, sold at Burgazada, ready for stuffing

Vine leaves, sold at Burgazada, ready for stuffing

Time to say farewell and see you soon, many thanks to Mark and Jolee for having us at Burgazada!

Visiting dear friends at Burgazada

Visiting dear friends at Burgazada

With best wishes to all; hope to be in touch from Bodrum!

Ozlem

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Lahmacun; Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb topping

Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, onion and tomato topping

Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, onion and tomato topping

This thin, delicious Turkish pizza called lahmacun is the ultimate street food in Turkey that we all love. A very popular lunch time snack, lahmacun is sold in street stalls as well as in restaurants at home. In Kebab houses, mini lahmacuns are served as an appetizer that I just can’t get enough. We Turks also love to have it as a take away food, a great, healthy alternative to fast food and  the children love them too. Lemon is liberally squeezed over and then it is rolled up with sliced tomatoes, onion and parsley salad, piyaz.

Here is my lahmacun recipe; hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Serves 4 – 6

Preparation time – 45 minutes (+1 hour rest for the dough)                        Cooking time – 20 minutes

Dough ingredients:

5 ml/ 1 teaspoon active dried yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

150 ml/ 2/3 cup lukewarm water

350 gr/3 cups strong white bread flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon mild olive oil

Topping ingredients:

15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

225gr / 8oz ground lean lamb

15ml/1 tablespoon tomato paste

5ml/1 teaspoon paprika flakes

Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F

First make the dough. Place the sugar and the yeast in a small bowl with half the lukewarm water. Set aside for about 15 minutes until frothy.

 Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the creamed yeast and the rest of the lukewarm water. Using your hand, draw in the flour and work with the mixture to dough, adding more water if necessary.

 Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Drip a few drops of olive oil into the base of the bowl and roll the dough in it. This will help the dough not to dry up. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

 While the dough gets ready, prepare the topping. Lightly soften the onions in the olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add salt to taste and set aside to cool. Put the ground lamb in a bowl and add the tomato paste, parsley, paprika flakes, lemon juice, cooked onions and tomato. Season with salt and pepper and work this mixture into a paste with your hands. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Once the dough doubled in size, punch down the risen dough, knead it on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin flat round, stretching the dough with your hands as you roll. Oil the baking sheets and place the dough rounds on them and spread a thin layer of the meat mixture covering the edges too. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the meat is nicely cooked.

Serve lahmacun hot, with lemon wedges to squeeze over by the side.

Mini lahmacuns; mini Turkish pizzas with ground meat and vegetables topping

Mini lahmacuns; mini Turkish pizzas with ground meat and vegetables topping

 Afiyet Olsun,

 Ozlem
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