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Zeytinyagli Pirasa – Leeks, Carrots and Rice Cooked with Olive Oil

Leeks, onions and carrots cooked in olive oil, Zeytinyagli Pirasa

Leeks, onions and carrots cooked in olive oil, Zeytinyagli Pirasa

Leeks are around all through the year these days and they are native to Anatolia, along with carrots. This “Zeytinyagli”(vegetables cooked in oil) recipe is wonderfully refreshing and comforting all through the year. Traditionally, we like to cook zeytinyagli dishes ahead of time, and allow the dish to cool and rest in its pan for the flavors to blend well.

The recipe is very easy to make, delicious and healthy – also vegan and gluten-free. You can keep in the fridge up to 3 days (flavors blend even better the next day!) and we serve them cold or room temperature. This recipe made a wonderful lunch for me with some crusty bread and squeeze of lemon by the side. You can serve as an appetizer, meze or as a side dish to accompany main dishes.

Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and offers delicious, wholesome, easy to make meals, most of them good for vegan and gluten-free diet too. This and over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland and delivered promptly worldwide. Signed copies are available to order at this link – while the stocks last! – if you’d like.

If you live in the US, Canada or Mexico, you can order a copy at this link, with lower shipping rates.

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes

500 gr/1.1 lb fresh leeks, washed and sliced diagonally into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
15 ml/1 tablespoon long grain rice, washed and drained
60 ml/2 fl oz/1/4 cup olive oil
240 ml /8 fl oz / 1 cup hot water
5 ml/1 teaspoon salt
5 ml/1 teaspoon caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Chopped fresh dill for garnish (optional)
Lemon wedges to squeeze over

In a wide, heavy pan, gently heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots for 5 minutes. Add the leeks and stir occasionally, taking care so they don’t scorch. When the vegetables start to soften, add the rice, hot water, lemon juice, salt and sugar.

Cover and cook gently over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice and vegetables are tender and the cooking liquid is absorbed. Avoid stirring during cooking, as this will disturb starch in the grains of rice.

Remove from the heat, cover with an absorbent kitchen cloth or paper towel and replace the lid. This will help to absorb any excess moisture. Set aside to cool.

Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with chopped dill if you would like. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over and some crusty bread by the side.

Afiyet Olsun,


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22 Responses to Zeytinyagli Pirasa – Leeks, Carrots and Rice Cooked with Olive Oil

  1. Banu January 3, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

    great simple recipe to follow and the food came out great. My mom cooked all this stuff and now that she is no longer around I have been looking for recipes that are simple and match her cooking. This one hits the mark.

    • Ozlem Warren January 5, 2016 at 11:17 am #

      Merhaba dear Banu, thank you so much for your kind note, delighted that you enjoyed my Zeytinyagli pirasa recipe, no better compliment : ) Afiyet olsun, selamlar, Ozlem

  2. Khaoula Begdouri June 6, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

    Thank you so much! I had this in turkey at my friend’s house. I could not remember what it was called. So glad I came upon this post. Thank you

    • Ozlem Warren June 7, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

      You are very welcome!

  3. RMM October 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

    this recipe was easy to follow and the zeytinyağlı pırasa tasted like home.

    • Ozlem Warren October 21, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

      thank you so much, delighted to hear you enjoyed my zeytinyagli pirasa recipe, afiyet olsun! Ozlem

    • Chris January 5, 2022 at 6:28 am #

      One of my main dishes, so simple and healthy. Well done Ozlrm!

      • Ozlem Warren January 5, 2022 at 11:27 am #

        Merhaba dear Chris,

        Many thanks for your kind note – so glad you enjoy this dish too – Afiyet Olsun!


  4. Michael September 23, 2018 at 8:39 pm #

    We had a Turkish friend join us for apple picking in the fall and at dinner she made this dish from our carrots and leeks in the garden. It was so awesome. To recreate I fortunately found your recipe, which is easy and enjoyable to prepare and as delicious. I look forward to growing leeks and carrots and making your dish every late summer/early fall. Thanks

    • Ozlem Warren September 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm #

      Merhaba dear Michael, many thanks for your kind note; so glad you enjoyed our leeks cooked in olive oil with vegetables, Zeytinyagli Pirasa. I love this wholesome, easy dish too and even better, you’re using your home grown vegetables, how wonderful. Just to let you know that i gathered my over 90 authentic recipes like this one, at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies are available here, if interested
      Afiyey olsun, Ozlem

  5. Ilayda August 3, 2019 at 10:08 am #

    Since I found this recipe, I simply cannot stop making it! It reminds me of cold autumn days, the smell instantly brings me back to my anneanne’s home, and the taste is precisely the same as when I was a little kid – sagol Özlem abla bu tarif icin, 1 numarasin!

    • Ozlem Warren August 6, 2019 at 9:35 am #

      Ah Ilayda’cigim, many many thanks, cok mutlu oldum : ) If the recipes help bringing back precious memories, it is happiness for all of us, Afiyetler Olsun, cok sevgiler, Ozlem : )

  6. Russ June 3, 2020 at 3:11 pm #

    I have made this dish more times than I can count. Love it. I follow the recipe pretty carefully although I probably add more dill than what is called for as we like that flavor. Thank you!

    • Ozlem Warren June 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm #

      Many thanks Russ for your kind note; so glad you enjoy this delicious, healthy recipe – one of the popular ones from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. Adding more dill is a great idea; I tend to add a bit more lemon juice too as I love lemon. Afiyet olsun, Ozlem

  7. Terry March 25, 2021 at 4:13 pm #

    How many years later? And I am back for this recipe again today! Had to run out early this morning to get dill. It is soooo good with dill. Thanks again!!

    • Ozlem Warren March 26, 2021 at 3:04 pm #

      Merhaba dear Terry,

      So lovely to get your note, welcome back! : ) Lovely to hear you enjoy this recipe – yes dill would work deliciously here, afiyet olsun!

  8. Ozlem Warren December 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    thanks for sharing!

  9. Ozlem Warren October 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    thanks so much for your kind mention and sharing the recipe, Adventures in Ankara!


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