This is such a satisfying, delicious and healthy salad. The cumin and red pepper flakes amazingly transform the humble Turkish white cheese (or if it’s not available, Greek feta cheese). In my hometown, Antakya (Antioch), this special crumbled dried white cheese mixed with cumin, red pepper flakes and oregano is called Kuru Cokelek (also known as Surk) and readily available. Well, I can’t get Kuru Cokelek at the moment, though pleased to say that the crumbled feta with these spices work just as good, highly recommended. If you are in Turkey, you can also make this salad with the creamy lor peynir; its mild taste goes well with this salad.
This easy salad is a wonderful treat for lunch or weekend brunch with some pita bread. My heartfelt thanks goes to my mother, who made this salad to us almost daily and injected us the love of food.
Turkish cuisine is packed with delicious, wholesome choices and based on seasonal produce; this delicious salad and over 90 authentic recipes are included in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table – you can order at Amazon now or you can get a Signed copy here (distributed worldwide, including USA).
Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes
½ small yellow or red onion, finely diced
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
¼ of long cucumber or ½ small cucumber, finely diced
Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
110gr/40z Cokelek or lor peynir, as available in Turkey (or Greek feta cheese as an alternative),
5 ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin
5 ml/1 teaspoon red pepper (or paprika) flakes
5 ml/1 teaspoon dried oregano
30 ml/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 ml/1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Pita bread wedges to serve
In a bowl, mix the Turkish white cheese, lor peynir (or Greek feta cheese), onion, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes with your hands. This will soften the onion and infuse the spices to the feta and onion. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice, and mix well. Check the seasoning and add salt and black pepper to your taste.
Serve with pita bread wedges.