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Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Appetizers and Mezes

Runner (green) beans cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Taze Fasulye

Green beans or runner beans cooked in olive oil with vegetables; Zeytinyagli Taze Fasulye

Green beans or runner beans cooked in olive oil with vegetables; Zeytinyagli Taze Fasulye

I was delighted to spot some lovely runner beans in my local market the other day; they are packed with flavor and freshness and we like to cook them in olive oil with onions and tomatoes.

This is such an easy, delicious and healthy vegetarian course that you can serve as a starter or an accompaniment to grilled meat. Green beans cooked this way are a great national favorite. Enjoyed by the urban and rural families alike, there are varying theories of how to achieve the best result. Traditionally, zeytinyagli dishes (vegetables cooked in olive oil) are prepared in advance and served at room temperature, as a meze or vegetable course. French, runner and dwarf beans are all suitable to be prepared this way. Once cooked, you can store in the fridge for a good 2-3 days.

 

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine; this recipe and over 90 healthy, authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies are now 30 % Off at this link for a limited period and delivered worldwide including USA and Canada; we do hope it helps with healthy, delicious home cooking, especially at this lockdown period.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time – 15 minutes Cooking time – 40 minutes

500 gr / 1.1 lb runner (green) beans, trimmed and cut into 3 pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
45 ml /3 tablespoon olive oil
400 gr / 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
lemon wedges to serve

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the beans and canned tomatoes and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Pour over the water, add the sugar, season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool in the pan. İn Turkish cooking, it is important for the the vegetables cooked in oil to cool and rest in the pan it is cooked for the flavors to blend well.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Yoghurt Dip with Cucumber and Garlic – Ozlem’s Cacik Dip

Cacik dip with yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint; delicious and refreshing

Cacik dip with yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint; delicious and refreshing

This wonderful, easy to prepare refreshing dip appears often on our table. The cool cucumber, yoghurt and mint combination goes very well served by the side of grilled meats, vegetables and casseroles.

Some of the finest yoghurt in the world is made in Turkey. Yogurt is an important feature of the Turkish diet, and is included in some way at most family meal times. Traditional Cacik is not so much a meze but more a chilled yoghurt soup with water and ice cubes added. Made in the traditional way, it is easy to whisk up, and served in a small bowl alongside hot meal dishes, to refresh and cleanse the palette. If you wish, exclude the water and the ice to create a great cooling dip, as I prefer to do here.

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine; over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies now 30 % off for a limited time here and delivered worldwide including the US.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

225 gr / 8 oz / 1 cup of natural, creamy plain yoghurt
1 garlic cloves, crushed with salt
About 100 gr / 3 1/2 oz cucumber, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried mint
salt to taste
fresh mint leaves to garnish

Combine the yoghurt and garlic and beat until smooth. Stir in chopped cucumber and mint. Add salt to taste, cover and refrigerate until required. Add fresh mint leaves for garnish when serving.

Note: Praised for its health-giving qualities, yoghurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins and has earned a reputation as one of the most valuable health foods. The bacteria in live yoghurt are known to stimulate friendly bacteria in the gut easing gastrointestinal problems and aiding digestion.

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Zucchini (Courgette) Fritters with Feta and Dill – Kabak Mucveri

Mucver; zucchini fritters with feta cheese, onion and dill

Mucver; zucchini fritters with feta cheese, onion and dill

Zucchini are the most widely available summer squash in Turkey. They are very versatile, used in many dishes and their flowers are perfect for stuffing. This wonderful vegetarian fritters are fantastic accompanied by garlic infused yoghurt or a leafy salad and crusty bread. You can enjoy them as a meze/appetizer for supper or light lunch dish. The bite size versions would be a great party / finger food too. They are also wonderful served next day as a cold snack.

If you are after a lighter flavor, you can bake the spread in a greased baking dish (at 180 C / 350 F) for about 35-40 minutes, like my mother does. You can then cut in squares and serve.

Here’s also my Courgette fritters, Mucver YouTube link:

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book available to order at this link

I love the vegetarian dishes, mezes and dips in Turkish cuisine and over 75 % of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, showcases these recipes, including this Kabak Mucveri. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is NOW 30 % OFF at this link, for a limited time and delivered worldwide including the US.

Adopted from Angie Mitchell’s Secrets of the Turkish Kitchen

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

3 medium zucchini (courgette), grated
150 gr / 6 oz  Turkish white cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 green (spring) onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
45 ml / 3 tablespoons all purpose (plain) white flour
Pinch of paprika (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil (or sunflower oil) for shallow frying
Sprigs of dill for garnish

Place the grated zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with a little salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Crumble or grate the feta cheese.

Using a tea towel, squeeze out any excess water from the zucchini and put in a bowl.

Transfer the flour to a large bowl and beat in the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper and beat into a batter (Take care not to add salt if your cheese is salty). Mix well.

In a frying pan, heat enough oil to shallow fry. Using a tablespoon, drop the spoonfuls of batter mix into the hot oil. Fry over a medium heat on both sides until golden brown. Remove with a straining spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper towel.

This meze (appetizer) can be enjoyed warm or you can make it in advance, and serve as a cold meze. Garnish with sprigs of dill and accompany with garlic infused yoghurt.

For garlic infused yoghurt, crush a couple of garlic cloves with salt, combine the yoghurt and garlic and beat until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Note: Summer squash is an effective diuretic and its potassium content benefits those with high blood pressure. Dill is known to aid digestion.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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