Cookery Classes

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


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

Leafy greens with pepper and pine nuts; Inspirations from Antakya

Turkish food is based on fresh, seasonal produce with generous usage of nuts, legumes and olive oil.  I got some wonderful leafy, spring greens from the market the other day (similar to Swiss chard, though with tenderer leaves) and made this delicious greens cooked with onion and red peppers in olive oil, with pine nuts.

Leafy greens or Swiss chard with onions, peppers and pine nuts, cooked in olive oil

Leafy greens or Swiss chard with onions, peppers and pine nuts, cooked in olive oil

This dish is inspired by my hometown Antakya’s Zilk (similar to pazi, Swiss chard). Locals would use either leafy chard called zilk or spinach, including its entire stem. They may also add bulgur to make it a substantial meal.

I included sweet, juicy red bell peppers to my version, as well as the crunchy, creamy pine nuts, omitting bulgur. With a touch of zing from the lemon juice and a little heat from red pepper flakes, it turned out to be a very delicious vegetarian dish. We loved the crunchiness of the pine nuts here, they really complement the vegetables very well.

One of the participants attended my Turkish cookery class last Saturday was a Coeliac Expert and she was pleasantly surprised to see that Turkish cuisine offers a lot of good options for gluten-free diet. This dish is another good example.

Spices galore; at Antakya's historic Long Market, Uzun Carsi

Spices galore; at Antakya’s historic Long Market, Uzun Carsi

On a separate note, I am delighted to hear that Antakya – Hatay’s application to UNESCO to become a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy has now been approved. This will be a very well deserved recognition for the rich, varied Antakya cuisine. I hope you can make it to Antakya one day and experience all the culinary delights.

Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and offers a rich variety of options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets; my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland has over 70 % vegetarian recipes and aims to showcase this delicious, healthy, wholesome cuisine. Signed copies are available to order at this link.

Afiyet Olsun,



5.0 from 3 reviews
Leafy greens with pepper and pine nuts; Inspirations from Antakya
I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious and refreshing vegetarian dish with crunchy pine nuts. It complements any grills (we enjoyed it with grilled salmon) as well as pasta, olives, cheese very well. This dish is also gluten-free.
Recipe type: Turkish, gluten-free vegetarian courses
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
  • 200 gr / 8 oz. spring greens (or Swiss chard, kale spinach), trimmed and finely chopped (including stems)
  • 2 small or 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper or pointy pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ juice of lemon
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. water
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • To serve:
  • 50 gr/ 2 oz. pine nuts
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pan. Stir in the onions and chopped bell peppers. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, they will start to soften.
  2. Add the chopped spring greens and mix well. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 tbsp. water, combine well. Cover and cook for a further 8 minutes under low to medium heat. The vegetables will still retain a delicious bite to them, turn the heat off.
  4. While the spring greens are cooking, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a small pan.
  5. Stir in the pine nuts and sauté under low to medium heat for about 3 minutes. Please keep an eye on the pine nuts, as they tend to brown quickly. Turn the heat off.
  6. Combine the pine nuts with the cooked greens, peppers and onions, mix well.
  7. Serve hot with red pepper flakes sprinkled over if you like. This dish is delicious with grills, fish and pasta. Olives and cheese aside go well too.


20 Responses to Leafy greens with pepper and pine nuts; Inspirations from Antakya

  1. Claudia May 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Hi Özlem! Just curious: where do you get your pinenuts in England? Love the idea of this recipe – just my kind of thing 🙂

    • Ozlem Warren May 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      Merhaba Claudia 🙂 Lovely to get your comment, thank you so stopping by! I get my pine nuts in Waitrose or Sainsbury’s though you pay a small fortune over here. It’s better value at the Turkish market in North Cheam. Whenever I am home, I make sure to bring a good supply! Glad you enjoyed the recipe idea, we really enjoyed it! Ozlem x

  2. senior dogs abroad May 13, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    Özlem’ciğim, What a great new recipe for me to try! I love spring greens but have never made this particular combination. I wanted to ask you if you’ve ever used this green that comes in to our market here – actually, it’s gone by now. It’s called çiriş and it kind of looks like a crocus sprout. Anyway, it’s delicious. Thanks for this recipe – will definitely try it this week! Öpüyoruz.

    • Ozlem Warren May 13, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      Merhaba Jolee, cok tesekkurler 🙂 I haven’t tried ciris, will look out for it next time hopefully, thanks for letting me know. This is a lovely, easy recipe that we really enjoyed, hope it hits the spot for you too : ) Cok selam ve sevgiler, Ozlem

  3. Peri's Spice Ladle May 13, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    What a beautiful chopped salad full of flavor. And I can imagine extending it to any set of wonderful greens…holding on to this recipe for summer evenings! XxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren May 13, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Cheers, dear Peri, it’s a delicious, refreshing bite. glad you enjoyed the post : ) Ozlem xx

  4. Alan May 13, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    . . what a delightful looking dish and just about as healthy as it gets.

    • Ozlem Warren May 13, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      thank you Alan, an easy, flavorful dish – hope you enjoy it, very kind!: )

  5. April Ozbilgin May 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Wow! This dish made my taste buds tingle just thinking about it. I will be making this for my family to try. This is just the kind of food we love! Ellerinize saglik!

    • Ozlem Warren May 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      Merhaba April, cok tesekkurler! It has plenty of exciting flavors and textures, I hope y’all enjoy it – afiyet olsun !

  6. BacktoBodrum May 14, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    I shall enjoy using this recipe for the Greek greens (horta) this year.

    • Ozlem Warren May 14, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Glad to hear it, afiyet olsun 🙂

  7. TasteofBeirut May 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Hello Ozlem,

    The more I learn about Turkish cuisine, the more I love it! I am also so happy to hear about Antakya’s recognition! Very well-deserved indeed! Would love to spend weeks there sampling food and exploring the entire region.

    • Ozlem Warren May 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

      Merhaba Joumana, very kind of you – I truly hope you make it Antakya sometime soon; with familiar tastes and smells and regional variations, thank you for your kind note 🙂

  8. Fleur May 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    I tried it and it was sooo delicious! THX Ozlem

    • Ozlem Warren May 18, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      So glad to hear it, many thanks for the feedback Fleur, afiyet olsun!:)

  9. Steven March 25, 2022 at 4:50 am #

    Aloha! I just made this and I love it!!! I used Tuscan kale because it was easy to find in my store. They were also out of pine nuts so I substituted Hazelnuts and it worked great!!! I just found out I’m diabetic so this is going to be my new go to dish! Thank you!

    • Ozlem Warren March 26, 2022 at 5:04 pm #

      Aloha and merhaba dear Steven, many thanks for your kins note – I loved your substitutions! I see my recipes as guidelines to inspire and I love folks giving a go with using what they have at home – both Tuscan kale and hazelnuts are great ideas! Afiyet olsun, Ozlem


  1. A Festive Fethiye Times - part two - Fethiye Times - December 20, 2017

    […] Click here for the recipe […]

  2. Ozlem's Turkish Table at Edinburgh Book Fest, Coming to Texas and more | Ozlem's Turkish Table - June 27, 2018

    […] have been enjoying more vegetables with the sunnier weather and this Leafy greens with onions, peppers and pine nuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book (page 153),  inspired from Antakya, fits the bill […]

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: