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Author Archive | Ozlem Warren

My new cookbook, SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen – on Pre-order Now!

My new cookery book, SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen, is now available to pre-order worldwide Here!

Gorgeous cover design by Nic and Lou

My heart bursts with joy to announce that after over 2 years of work (and many years of dreaming about it), my new cookery book, SEBZE, Vegetarian Recipes from My Turkish Kitchen, will be published by Hardie Grant Publishing on April 9th in the USA, April 11th in the UK (& in Türkiye via Amazon Turkiye), April 5th in Australia. SEBZE is now available to pre-order HERE!

SEBZE, meaning “vegetables” in Turkish, is a celebration of vegetarian Turkish cuisine, with 85 practical and delicious vegetarian recipes (including scrumptious desserts) from the heart of my homeland, Türkiye (Turkey) along with stunning food and location photography by the very talented Sam A Harris, my stories and tips as a cookery teacher. SEBZE is now on pre-order worldwide, order link here (the link will take you to the relevant website to your location, for ordering). Pre-orders are very important for the success of a cookery book, hence I would be very grateful to your kind order.

Antalya style bean salad with tahini sauce, Tahinli piyaz from SEBZE  Photo by Sam A Harris

I have long wanted to write SEBZE, to showcase the many different ways we enjoy seasonal vegetables, legumes and whole grains in my homeland, as living abroad over 20 years, I’ve seen how Turkish cuisine is mostly associated with kebabs. I believe the recipes in SEBZE will not only please vegetarians, but anyone, like me, who would like fresh and achievable vegetable-centered ideas to include in their cooking. I hope the readers will embark on a culinary journey to my homeland, to discover our delightful, practical,  vegetarian recipes, along with scrumptious sweetsI am delighted to share a few taster images from SEBZE with you here.

What to expect in SEBZE? Showcasing diverse culinary heritage and warm spirit of Turkish culture, expect to indulge in popular Turkish classics, along with lesser-known regional specialties, from gözleme to mezes, street food (yes, simit!), All day breakfast, hearty casseroles, boreks, pickles, pilafs, vibrant salads, wholesome soups, healthy vegetables cooked in olive oil (Zeytinyağlı) and so much more. You will be glad to know there are scrumptious cookies, cakes and desserts in SEBZE too, from the milk-based Fırın Sütlaç to the luscious Pumpkin and walnut baklava, my take on the much loved classic, fruit based treats and many more. Recipes that are easy, flexible, good value, seasonal and sustainable – not to mention utterly delicious.

Çılbır, Turkish style poached eggs with garlicky yoghurt from SEBZE, image credit Sam A Harris

I tried to offer recipes that complement one another in SEBZE; most recipes include prep ahead tips, freezing options and variations for gluten-free and plant-based diets. Turkish cuisine is a no waste kitchen, so there are ideas for leftovers such as Baked bread with egg and vegetables; Fırında Yumurtalı, Sebzeli Ekmek, Easy, herby pan börek; Otlu tava böreği and many more. The recipes are both with metric and imperial measurements. Whether you are vegetarian or simply looking for fresh, vegetable-, grains- and pulses-centered ideas to include in your diet, there will be something for you in SEBZE.

Zeytinyağlı biber dolması, stuffed peppers with aromatic rice from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

I am also very excited to share some lesser known regional specialties such as this show stopper Tray bake Mantı with spiced chickpeas, Nohutlu Tepsi Mantı in SEBZE. You would be glad to know it is easy to make and can be prepared ahead too.

Tray bake Mantı with spiced chickpeas, Nohutlu Tepsi Mantı from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

How about this scrumptious Baked aubergines, courgettes, peppers with tomato sauce; Turkish Şakşuka with Home made pul biber and oregano chips? They are huge part of my childhood, accompanied by my mother’s Muhammara, all in SEBZE.

Turkish Saksuka with pul biber and oregano chips, from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

Tray bake börek with onions, potato, mineral water, Patatesli sodalı börek from SEBZE – Image credit to Sam A Harris

There are so many talented, kind folks helped made SEBZE happen. I can’t thank enough to my literary agent Milly Reilly, the Hardie Grant Publishing team for all their support. Huge thanks to the photographer extraordionaire Sam Harris  who not only shot Sebze in London along with the amazing team and food stylist Esther Clark, but he also travelled to Turkiye with me for our location shoots in Istanbul and Antakya – at the beautiful Meric Ciftligi, with my family, aunties, and uncles, which were so special to me. I am so grateful for these amazing shoots, showcasing my homeland and heritage. My very sincere thanks also to Diana Henry for her most kind words on the cover, along with Sabrina Ghayour, Joe Woodhouse, Jenny Linford, Ghillie Basan, Rosemary Gill for their generous quotes for SEBZE and everyone so kind to support this special book.

Ozlem at Meric Ciftligi – Altinouzu, Antakya, from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

Fıstıklı Un Kurabiyesi, Turkish shortbread cookies with pistachio from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

It’s been an absolute privilege to write SEBZE and my heart bursts with pride. If you are keen to get a copy and if you can pre-order here, I would greatly appreciate it, as pre-orders help so much to a new book (amazon takes the payment for pre-orders when it is dispatched). My huge, sincere thanks, çok teşekkür ederim – can’t wait for you to meet SEBZE !

SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen, available to pre-order HERE

Afiyet Olsun,

Özlem

 

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Turkish style rice pilaf with orzo or vermicelli – Sehriyeli Pirinc Pilavı

Pilaf, or pilav as we call, is an important dish for us, Turks. It accompanies almost every Turkish meal, including our casseroles, meatballs. The iconic Turkish bean stew, kuru fasulye is always served with pilav, the combination referred as “kuru fasulye – pilav”. Combined with chickpeas, Nohutlu Pilav is another delicious variation and a much loved street food- a meal in itself with pickles, tursu aside.

Turks are passionate about making pilav. Proper Turkish pilav needs to be grainy, “tane tane pilav” as we say, and mastering to make it properly is a real test, traditionally, for a Turkish lady before marriage. Rinsing then soaking the rice in warm water is an important stage, as it helps to get rid of excess starch and make the rice grainy. We also use either chopped vermicelli like tel sehriye or orzo like arpa sehriye which is sautéed in our rice, which adds additional texture and flavour.  Short grain baldo rice is the preferred choice in Turkiye, though I prefer the more widely available long grain rice. Make sure to let your rice rest for 10 minutes, covered with sturdy paper towel and lid, before serving – paper towel will absorb any excess moisture and make your rice grainy, “tane tane.”

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Turkish style rice pilaf with orzo or vermicelli – Sehriyeli Pirinc Pilavı
 
Pilaf, or pilav as we call, is an important dish for us, Turks. It accompanies almost every Turkish meal, including our casseroles, meatballs. The iconic Turkish bean stew, kuru fasulye is always served with pilav, the combination referred as “kuru fasulye - pilav”. Combined with chickpeas, Nohutlu Pilav is another delicious variation and a much loved street food- a meal in itself with pickles, tursu aside. Turks are passionate about making pilav. Proper Turkish pilav needs to be grainy, “tane tane pilav” as we say, and mastering to make it properly is a real test, traditionally, for a Turkish lady before marriage. Rinsing then soaking the rice in warm water is an important stage, as it helps to get rid of excess starch and make the rice grainy. We also use either chopped vermicelli like tel sehriye or orzo like arpa sehriye which is sautéed in our rice, which adds additional texture and flavour. Short grain baldo rice is the preferred choice in Turkiye, though I prefer the more widely available long grain rice. Make sure to let your rice rest for 10 minutes, covered with sturdy paper towel and lid, before serving – paper towel will absorb any excess moisture and make your rice grainy, “tane tane.” Afiyet Olsun.
Author:
Recipe type: Pilaf, vegetarian, vegan
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Ingredients
  • 200g long grain rice
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3tbsp orzo (or tel sehriye, chopped vermicelli)
  • 420ml hot water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under running warm water, until the water runs clear. Then place the rice in a bowl and cover with warm water with a pinch of salt and set aside for 15 minutes – this will help get rid of the excess starch.
  2. Pour in the olive oil in a medium size pot and stir in the orzo or tel sehriye, vermicelli, sauté over medium to high heat for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to turn dark golden. Drain the excess water in the rice bowl using a strainer and stir the rice into the pot. Stir and combine for 1 – 1 ½ minutes, so that the rice grains coat with the oil too.
  3. Stir in hot water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine. Cover, bring the pot to the boil, and then turn the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered; during this cooking time, do not stir the rice. Turn the heat off once the rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Now place 2 sturdy paper towels or clean tea towel over the pot and put the lid back on to seal, and leave to rest for 12-15 minutes. The paper towels will absorb any excess moisture and make your rice grainy, “tane tane pilav”, as we say in Turkish. Fluff the rice with a fork, check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper to your paste and serve. We love pilav rice with pickles, tursu and a dollop of yoghurt aside, as well as along with casseroles.
 

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Easy one pan chicken with vegetables – Sebzeli, tavuklu türlü

 

This is another easy, delicious, nutritious one pan dish, perfect for week day meals – leftovers make a lovely lunch or another supper the next day. Türlü is a popular stew of meat and vegetables at home, traditionally cooked on the stovetop, and sometime baked. Green beans, potatoes and peppers are lovely here though you can use other veg in hand – beets, squash, carrots, leeks can be fantastic options for cooler temperatures. Marinating chicken in yoghurt and spices add a lot of flavour and tenderizes chicken – gut friendly too. You can prepare this dish a head of time, it also freezes well.

Another version of this dish, using aubergines and peppers and baked in the oven, Baked aubergine kebab with yoghurt and spices marinated chicken, Patlicanli Kebap, is also at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. Signed copies are available at this link.

 


Easy one pan chicken with vegetables – Sebzeli, tavuklu türlü
 
This is another easy, delicious, nutritious one pan dish, perfect for week day meals – leftovers make a lovely lunch or another supper the next day. Türlü is a popular stew of meat and vegetables at home, traditionally cooked on the stovetop, and sometime baked. Green beans, potatoes and peppers are lovely here though you can use other veg in hand – beets, squash, carrots, leeks can be fantastic options for cooler temperatures. Marinating chicken in yoghurt and spices add a lot of flavour and tenderizes chicken – gut friendly too. You can prepare this dish a head of time, it also freezes well.
Author:
Recipe type: One pan stews
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Chicken marinade:
  • 800g chicken breast, cut in 4cm chunks
  • 3 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp pul biber
  • 1 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp pepper paste, biber salcasi
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • For the rest:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut in small – 2 cm – chunks
  • 1 medium potato, cleaned, halved and thinly sliced (1/2 cm thick)
  • 250 g green beans, trimmed
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 170 ml water
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First marinade the chicken. Place all marinade ingredients in a bowl and with clean hands, combine well. Cover and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes (or more, if you can).
  2. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a large wide pan and stir in the marinated chicken. Sauté for about 6 minutes over medium to high, stirring often, to seal the juices of the chicken. Remove the chicken to a plate, keep the oil in the pan.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan and stir in the onions, peppers, potato. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 6-7 minutes over medium to high heat. Now return the chicken to the pan and combine well for a minute. Also introduce the green beans to the pan and mix well.
  4. Combine sauce ingredients in a jug, mix well for the tomato paste to dissolve. Pour over to the pan, season with salt and pepper, combine well. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 35-40 minutes, until everything is cooked and sauce thickened.
  5. Serve hot with drizzle of extra – virgin olive oil over and some rice or chunks of bread aside. Cacik dip of yoghurt and cucumber goes well with this dish too.
 

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