Turkish cuisine is very much based on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. A daily trip to Pazar, fresh fruit and vegetable market is a ritual, most Turks do daily at home. Rather than having a recipe in mind, we go to the Market, Pazar, to see which vegetables are seasonal and freshly available in the market and then decide what we will be cooking accordingly.
I had one of these moments when we went to the Turkish Market in Cheam last week. It so wonderful to see great displays of different kinds of peppers (red pointy ones, slim long and spicy green peppers, small spicy peppers and small, less meaty green bell peppers which are great for stuffing), slim aubergines, vine tomatoes and.. baby artichokes.
I rarely can get baby artichokes at my local market, so seeing it was a real treat and the menu for that day is decided; poached baby artichokes in olive oil. We Turks love to poach especially the big, meaty globe artichokes in olive oil with vegetables, dressed with lemon juice and dill. This style of cooking in Turkish cuisine is called “vegetables cooked in olive oil”, and we enjoy them at room temperature or cold. Dressed with olive oil and lemon juice,they are not only very healthy but a joy to eat during summer time and can be kept in fridge 2-3 days.
I adapted this recipe from one of my favourite cookery author Ghillie Basan’s Complete Book of Turkish Cooking Book. Ghillie added blanched almonds to hers, a brilliant idea for added texture and flavour, worked really well in mine too. This dish would be a wonderful starter, a light lunch or a side dish and you will be creating a healthy, delicious dish using a few fresh ingredients – I hope you can give it a go sometime.
Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 large globe artichokes or 10-12 baby artichokes
1 small cooked carrot,diced
90gr/3oz fresh peas (or frozen if you can’t get fresh peas)
75gr/3oz blanched or flaked almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil
5m/teaspoon granulated sugar
15ml/1 tablespoon fresh dill,chopped
Salt to taste
Wedges of lemon to serve
First let’s prepare the artichokes. Cut off the stalks and pull off all the leaves. Dig out the hairy choke from the middle with a spoon (you don’t need to do this stage with baby artichokes). Then cut away any hard bits with a sharp knife and trim into a neat cup shape. Rub the cups – called bottoms – with a mixture of lemon juice and a little salt to prevent them from coloring (tip: until ready to use, fresh artichokes should be treated like flowers and put in a jug of water).
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and stir in the artichokes in lemon sauce and the diced carrots. Pour 100ml/4fl oz/1/2cup water over the vegetables, combine well. Cover the pan and poach the vegetables gently for about 25 minutes. Then add the fresh or frozen peas, sugar and almonds, combine well. Cover again and continue to cook gently for another 5 minutes, until the artichokes are tender.
Toss in the dill, season with salt and turn off the heat. Leave to cool the artichokes in the pan.
Serve this delicious course at room temperature with wedges of lemon by the side.
You can enjoy this refreshing vegetable course as a starter or by the side of grilled meat, fish or pasta.
And a few more photos to share from the Cheam Market; the bakery is always a big hit with fresh flat breads, sesame seeded pastries, ekmek, Turkish loaf of bread and many more.
Simit is the quintessential Turkish food; these sesame-encrusted bread rings are the most popular snack at home, and they are easy to make too, here is the recipe, if you’d like to have a go.
Wishing you all a good week ahead, filled with delicious food to share!
i would love to visit that market and the bakery as well. i have been wanting to make my own simit and must do this soon!
It is a great pleasure to browse thru all these fresh ingredients and that bakery is a gem; I hope you can have a go with simit, it is easy to make.
Beautiful market artichokes turned into a fantastic and filling vegetarian meal…love it!
We have so much in common with this dish; I loved your version too, with the crispy calamari 🙂
Turkish market in Cheam, sounds like a glorious oxymoron. I’m very glad to be back on line , I’ve now got to catch up with all your posts.
Lovely to have you back, hosgeldiniz (welcome!). Cheam Market is a gem that I love going back, so good to be able to access all those fresh, seasonal ingredients 🙂
Gosh this looks very interesting and would love to visit it. It reminds me of a Turkish shop I worked in, in Germany and I remember the bread very well. Beautiful fruit and veg and the olives. Mmmm…
The market is very inspiring, and the bakery is wonderful – I hope you can be able to visit sometime. Thank you for the comment:)
Thanks for this inspiration Özlem, now I know what to get at tomorrows market. Can’t wait to taste this!
You are very welcome – I bet you can get some wonderful globe artichokes in Provence, hope you enjoy the recipe!
Delicious-sounding dish. I enjoy artichokes a lot but I’d never thought of combining them with almonds – excellent idea. I haven’t found a chance to get along to the Cheam market yet but I keep promising myself that I will as soon as I can.
Hello Phil, glad you liked the look of the artichokes, it is so satisfying to be able to use the fresh ones – hope you enjoy the Cheam market!
Wonderful to see a fresh market, dear Ozlem! Even the words are similar, back in India, it’s called ‘Bazaar’ and everyone visits daily to buy fresh vegetables and cooks whatever they found at the market:) what a healthy and awesome way to live…the vegetable vendor even comes to the door to sell the fresh produce:)
Great recipe, I haven’t had much experience with fresh artichokes, have to try it out:) thanks for inspiring me…
We have so much in common Peri; in Turkey the mobile vendors go thru the streets, selling fresh produce, with a remarkable loud voice! Amazing, I so look forward to going to India, high in agenda, hope soon.
Hope you have a go with the fresh artichokes, they look a little fiddley at first but you get the hang of it:) xx Ozlem
What a gorgeous post! I love artichokes, but would love to be in Istanbul eating them! Ah, we can dream!
Hello Susan; I am with you, artichokes would taste so well in Istanbul, especially by the Bosphorus! Nothing wrong with dreaming, all start from a little dream : ) Here is a wish to enjoy artichokes in Istanbul!:)
delicious and inspiring dishes…am in uk,…have been to turkish,have most of food there…really v tasty …
glad that i found ur spaces…and to try more of them…
happy to follow u,
Many thanks for your comment, glad you are enjoying Turkish food – look forward to visiting your blog,
The artichokes have looked so good on the markets in Fethiye this year and we never got round to buying any. Now it’s too late and this post has made me want to eat them again.
Sorry you missed them Julia, the globe artichokes at home are to die for. I wonder you may still get the marinated ones at delis? Or you may just need to come over and I will cook some for you:)
These sweeties are just heaven. They look beautiful and they must be delicious. I never thought of making my own Turkish delight. Thank you for sharing this great post.
You aver welcome, you’d be surprised to see how easy to make them, glad you enjoyed the post.