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Author Archive | Ozlem Warren

Baked vegetables with chickpeas – Firinda Sebzeli, Nohutlu Turlu

Baked vegetables with chickpeas – Firinda Sebzeli, Nohutlu Turlu

I love the abundance of seasonal vegetables we get in Turkey. This is a wonderful vegetarian dish, celebrating the seasonal bounty at home. Turlu is traditionally cooked over stove top, as a stew, though I prefer to bake the dish in the oven here, as I love the additional dept of flavours you get with baking the vegetables. Having chickpeas in these casseroles are a typical Turkish fare; its earthy flavour goes well here and makes it a delicious and substantial all in one dish. In winter months, you can use root vegetables like beetroots, potato, as well as leeks etc. in this wholesome dish. It also tastes better next day and freezes well. Great for back to school and weekday meals.

You can serve as this turlu with crusty bread or rice pilaf. I also love to top this wholesome casserole over the smoked eggplant béchamel sauce, as a vegetarian topping for the Turkish classic, Hunkar Begendi – Sultan’s Delight.

Aubergines, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, Mercimekli Mualla, from my  cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. Image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

Turkish cuisine offers wholesome, delicious vegetarian and vegan choices, such as this Aubergine, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, Mercimekli Mualla, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. Signed copies are now 25 % off and delivered worldwide, including the US and Canada at this link.

Baked vegetables with chickpeas – Firinda Sebzeli, Nohutlu Turlu
 
This is a wonderful vegetarian dish, celebrating the seasonal bounty at home. Turlu is traditionally cooked over stove top, as a stew, though I prefer to bake the dish in the oven here, as I love the additional dept of flavours you get with baking the vegetables. Having chickpeas in these casseroles are a typical Turkish fare; its earthy flavour goes well here and makes it a delicious and substantial all in one dish. In winter months, you can use root vegetables like beetroots, potato, as well as leeks etc. in this wholesome dish. It also tastes better next day and freezes well. Great for back to school and weekday meals. You can serve as this turlu with crusty bread or rice pilaf. I also love to top this wholesome casserole over the smoked eggplant béchamel sauce, as a vegetarian topping for the Turkish classic, Hunkar Begendi – Sultan’s Delight.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian and Vegan
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 medium aubergines/eggplants, cut in lengthways and sliced in chunks
  • 3 medium courgettes/zucchini, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, peeled and sliced in wedges
  • 1 green and 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut in chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 400g/14oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g/14oz can of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15ml/1tbsp dried oregano
  • 10ml/2tsp Turkish pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • 10ml/2tsp ground cumin
  • 60ml/4tbsp olive oil
  • 15ml/1tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 285ml/10fl oz hot water
  • Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley to decorate
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
  2. Spread the eggplant/aubergine chunks on a wide tray, sprinkle salt over and leave aside for about 10 minutes. Using a paper towel, squeeze the excess water out of the aubergines/eggplants.
  3. Toss all the vegetables with olive oil, oregano, pul biber/red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper, on a large baking tray. Please do that with your (clean) hands and make sure all the spices and olive oil coat the vegetables; this really helps to infuse all the spices and olive oil to the vegetables to enhance their flavour. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, turning them around the midway. By the end of this roasting, the vegetables will start to get charred along the edges and softened. Transfer the roasted vegetables over a large baking dish.
  4. Combine the 285ml/10fl oz hot water with tomato paste and mix well. Stir in the can of chopped tomatoes, rinsed chickpeas, cumin; season with salt and pepper and combine well. Pungent cumin goes well with earthy chickpeas.
  5. Pour this mixture over the roasted vegetables in the baking dish and gently combine well. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for another 20 – 25 minutes, until all vegetables cooked, browned at edges and the sauce thickened. Sprinkle chopped parsley over, ready to serve.
  7. Serve with crusty bread or rice pilaf aside (sharp feta cheese is great crumbled over too, as an option). I also love this wholesome casserole over the smoked eggplant béchamel sauce, as a vegetarian topping for the Turkish classic, Hunkar Begendi – Sultan’s Delight.
  8. Afiyet Olsun.
 

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Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi

Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi

We greatly enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi, especially popular in Gaziantep region in Turkey.  We adore aubergine / eggplant/patlican in Turkey; one can safely say, it is our national vegetable, with over 200 recipes featuring aubergine in Turkish cuisine. Its meaty, melt in the mouth texture and naturally sweet flesh is simply fantastic here, cooked with meatballs, tomatoes and peppers. Please use long and slim variety of the purple aubergines, eggplants for this kebab.

I love the ease of this all in one bake dish. Please make sure to sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and squeeze out their excess moisture with a paper towel. Then simply coat olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine slices. There is no need to sauté or fry the aubergine slices and the meatballs before baking. They bake all together very well, infusing their flavour to one another. You can prep this dish ahead of time and freeze leftovers successfully.

Baked Turkish meatballs casserole from Ozlem’s Turkish Table, image by Sian Irvine Food Photography

The meatballs in this recipe is based on my Turkish baked meatballs with vegetables, Firinda Sebzeli Kofte recipe, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, another version of this delicious all in one bake.

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table are available at this link;  I am delighted to share that there is now significantly reduced shipping rates of hardback Ozlem’s Turkish Table to the USA via GB Publishing, at this link too.

You can serve this dish with plain pilaf rice and cooling Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt aside.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi
 
We greatly enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi, especially popular in Gaziantep region in Turkey. I love the ease of this all in one bake dish. Please make sure to sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and squeeze out their excess moisture with a paper towel. Then simply coat olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine slices. There is no need to sauté or fry the aubergine slices and the meatballs before baking. They bake all together very well, infusing their flavour to one another. You can prep this dish ahead of time and freeze leftovers successfully.
Author:
Recipe type: Aubergine/eggplant and meatballs bake
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the kofte (meatballs):
  • 450g/1lb minced/ground lamb, beef or mixture
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 60g/2oz stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small bunch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bowl of water for kneading kofte and getting your hands wet
  • And the rest:
  • 2 medium and long (or 3, if smaller) aubergines / eggplants
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced in chunky wedges
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 45ml / 3tbsp olive oil (to coat the aubergine slices)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml/7fl oz warm water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
  2. First prepare your meatball mixture. Discard the crusts of the bread, soak in the water and squeeze dry. Then crumble them into a large bowl. Add all the kofte, meatballs ingredients except the ground/minced meat and knead well. This will soften the onions and enable the spices to blend in the mixture evenly. Add the minced/ground meat and knead well again until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Slice the aubergines/eggplants into about 1.5cm / 0.6in circles and spread over a large tray. Sprinkle some salt over them and leave for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze out their excess moisture with paper towel. Place them back on a clean large tray.
  4. Drizzle 45ml / 3tbsp olive oil over the aubergine/eggplant slices. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, gently rub the olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine/eggplant slices.
  5. Now, shape your meatballs. Have a bowl of cold water near you. With damp hands, take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll into a round meatball, as large as your aubergine/eggplant slices, and slightly flatten. Place them on large dish or a tray side by side.
  6. Have a round baking dish with 25cm/10in diameter near you (a 25cmx25cm square baking dish would work well too). Place a slice of aubergine upright and place a meatball alongside. Repeating this, place all the aubergine slices and meatballs side by side, quite tightly, so they can stay upright.
  7. Gently tuck in the coarsely sliced bell peppers around the aubergine slices and meatballs. Place the tomato slices around the middle part of your round baking dish, in between aubergine and meatball layers, or if you are using a square baking dish, in between layers.
  8. For the sauce; combine the finely chopped garlic, 200ml/7fl oz warm water, 2tbsp tomato paste and 2tbsp olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and ground black pepper and combine well.
  9. Pour the sauce over the prepared aubergine, meatballs and vegetables. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Then take the cover off, gently spoon the sauce in the baking dish over the aubergine and meatballs and bake further 20 – 25 minutes, until the meatballs and vegetables cooked and slightly charred.
  11. Drizzle the sauce from the baking the dish over the aubergine and meatballs again. Serve with plain pilaf rice and cooling Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt aside.
 

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Turkish Shortbread Cookies with Pistachio – Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi

Turkish shortbread cookies with pistachio, Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi

This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi and tea, cay.

I added coarsely ground (or very finely chopped) pistachios to mine – it is nice to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios, so take care not to ground them too finely. Turkish pistachios, as referred as green emeralds are packed with flavour and we use nuts liberally in our desserts and sweet treats. They add a delicious, fragrant nutty taste. You can use ground almonds or hazelnuts instead of pistachio too. These fistikli un kurabiyesi is a great hit with my family and friends; I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Turkish Shortbread Cookies with Pistachio – Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi
 
This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee and tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Shortbread Cookies - Un Kurabiyesi
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 300g/10 ¼ oz plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 110g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 90g/3 ¼ oz shelled pistachios, coarsely ground or very finely chopped
  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 5ml/1tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Extra icing sugar for dusting
  • Sprinkle of extra coarsely ground pistachio for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Coarsely ground the pistachios, with a few pulses in a food processor; take care not to ground too finely, as it’s lovely to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios.
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and set aside. Sift the icing sugar in a separate bowl too.
  4. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and coarsely slice. Beat using a mixer for 2 – 3 minutes, until smooth and light. Stir in the icing sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, until well combined.
  5. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes, making sure all combined well.
  6. Stir in the coarsely ground pistachio to the mix, beat another minute or two, until all combined and turned into a crumbly dough.
  7. Using your hands, gently combine and turn the mixture into a dough ball. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge for 10 minutes. This helps shaping and forming the shortbread cookie balls.
  8. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  9. Take the dough out of the fridge and pull off walnut sized pieces of dough and gently shape into balls, rolling the dough into round shape with your hands. Each dough ball will be about 3cm / 1.2in in diameter. Place the dough balls on the baking tray, with about 5cm/2in between each dough ball. You will make about 18 dough balls.
  10. Bake the Turkish shortbread cookies, un kurabiyes, in the preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, they will be pale golden; try not to overbake, so that they can retain their crumbly texture.
  11. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool completely. Once cool, sift icing sugar over them and sprinkle a little ground pistachio over when serving. They are delicious aside tea and Turkish coffee. They can be stored in a container with a lid for a good 5-6 days.
  12. Afiyet Olsun.
 

Hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table in the USA- with reduced shipping rates!-

We are delighted to share that we now have significantly reduced shipping rates to the USA (approximately 14 USD), for the hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table, you can order via GB Publishing, at this link.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table and the apron also available at this link.

Our best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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