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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Gluten-free recipes

Leek fritters with cheese and herbs; Pirasa Mucveri

We absolutely love Mucver in Turkish cuisine; vegetarian fritters with herbs and cheese. In the past I shared my Courgette/zucchini fritters,  Kabak Mucveri as well as the Baked cauliflower with vegetables version, Firinda Karnabahar Mucveri recipes, as also in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. They are the perfect patties, great as a mezze; small bite size fritters are wonderful for entertaining too.

Make sure to chop the leeks finely and knead and soften with your hands, with salt.

This time, I experimented using leeks in the fritters. I added wholesome chickpea (gram) flour in the mixture, rather than plain flour this time. I have been enjoying the gram flour recently; it is a pulse flour made from ground chickpea, it is gluten-free, nutty, earthy tasting and packed with goodness. Great in these fritters too. Of course you can use plain flour here instead, if you wish. I also added grated carrots to these fritters, they gave a lovely natural sweetness and crunch.

These Leek fritters, Pirasa mucveri, turned out great. I also baked some in the oven as a variation (in a greased baking dish at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for about 35 minutes); they turned equally tasty and lighter in flavor. Enjoy them with a good squeeze of lemon and garlicy yoghurt by the side.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Leek fritters with cheese and herbs; Pirasa Mucveri and Pide Online Cookery Class!
 
I hope you enjoy these delicious Leek fritters, Pirasa mucveri. I added wholesome chickpea (gram) flour in the mixture, rather than plain flour. I have been enjoying the gram flour recently; it is a pulse flour made from ground chickpea, it is gluten-free, nutty, earthy tasting and packed with goodness. Great in these fritters too. Of course you can use plain flour here instead, if you wish. I also added grated carrots to these fritters, they added a lovely natural sweetness and crunch. Enjoy them with a good squeeze of lemon and garlicy yoghurt by the side.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 200g/7oz (2 medium) carrots, grated
  • 430g/15oz (3-4 medium leeks), trimmed, quartered and chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped Handful of flat parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150g/5oz Turkish white cheese, beyaz peynir or feta cheese
  • 75ml/5 tablespoons chickpea (gram) flour Or all-purpose/plain flour
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish pul biber or chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Canola oil, groundnut oil or sunflower oil for shallow frying
  • Wedges of lemon to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F (if you wish to bake the fritters)
  2. Place the finely chopped leeks in a large bowl. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt (1-2 tsp) over the leeks, and rub and mix with your hands. Please do this stage with your hands, rather than with a spoon, as mixing with your hands will soften the leeks.
  3. Grate the carrots. Take a couple of sheets of sturdy paper towel, place the grated carrots in it and gently squeeze out the excess moisture.
  4. Combine the grated carrots with the leeks in a large bowl. Transfer the gram flour (or plain flour, if you wish) to the large bowl and stir in the beaten eggs. Crumble the Turkish white cheese, beyaz peynir or feta cheese and combine in the large bowl. Add the chopped garlic, dill and parsley, season with salt and ground black pepper. Sprinkle the pul biber or red pepper flakes, if you enjoy a little heat. Combine well into a batter (take care not to add extra salt if your cheese is already salty).
  5. In a frying pan, heat enough groundnut, sunflower or canola oil to shallow fry. Using a tablespoon, drop the batter mix into the hot oil spoonful by spoonful, leaving space between each one. Fry over a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes each side until both sides are golden brown. Remove with a straining spoon and drain on an absorbent kitchen paper towel.
  6. Alternatively, if you would like a lighter flavor, you can bake your mucver in a preheated oven at 180C / 350F. If you choose this way, grease a baking dish with 1 tablespoon light olive oil or groundnut oil. Place spoonfuls of the batter on the baking tray, leaving about 1”/2.5cm space between each spoonful batter. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until they are gold and getting crispy around the edges.
  7. For garlic yoghurt, crush a garlic clove with salt and finely chop. Combine the plain yoghurt and garlic and beat until smooth. Add salt to taste.
  8. Serve the fritters warm, at room temperature or cold with wedges of lemon and garlic yoghurt at the side.
  9. Afiyet Olsun.

Let’s Make Pide!  Online (Zoom) Turkish Cookery Class – SOLD OUT

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Vegetarian Pide, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table – join us to learn how to make it; image by Sian Irvine Photography 

Date: Saturday, February 27th 2021

Time: 6pm-7.30pm (GMT)

Cost: 30 GBP (40 USD) per person

Please join us at my online (zoom) cookery class, where I will be demonstrating how to make the popular Pide; our Oval flatbreads with various toppings, on Saturday, February 27th, 6pm-7.30pm (GMT). I will demonstrate Pide with minced (ground) meat with vegetables topping, Kiymali Pide, as well as Vegetarian Pide with cheese, spinach, peppers. We will also do a variation, Karadeniz style, with a cracked egg on top. I will also demonstrate how to make our delicious Ezme dip with tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs, to go with the Pide.

You will get plenty of ahead of time preparation tips, ideas for substitution and with stories from my homeland. Recording of the class will also be sent to the participants for limited viewing. The class would also make a wonderful gift for a foodie

 

A recent review on Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book:

(thank you very much, Hannah, for your kind words):

“Thank you Ozlem, such a wonderful book. I have made many of the recipes already and my family loved them all. My daughter is so happy as they are just like Babannes.”

It is the best compliment hearing folks enjoy my recipes from my homeland, and they bring happy memories, my sincere thanks to everyone left a review on Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book. Signed copies are 25 % Off  via GBPublishing at this link and delivered worldwide, including the US.

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Baked beetroots, celeriac, carrots and green lentils with pomegranate molasses

We love beetroots – pancar -,  celeriac – kereviz – and carrots – havuc – in Turkish cuisine. Root vegetables, and vegetables in general feature a lot in healthy, delicious Turkish cooking, based on seasonal produce. With my roots going back to southern Turkey, Antakya, our natural condiment pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi, is used widely in our meals too. From Kisir, Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses to Stuffed courgette/zucchini with chickpeas , ground meat in pomegranate sauce and more, this delicious, tangy sauce is much loved in our kitchen, very healthy too. You can make your own pomegranate molasses with my recipe here, if you’d like.

I recently baked beetroots, celeriac and carrots with red onions, and then mixed with cooked green lentils, served with a simple sauce of pomegranate molasses, olive oil and lemon juice. It turned out to be a light, healthy vegetarian course, packed with flavor. It works great with grills, pasta or as a delicious vegetarian meal on its own. Leftovers can be kept in fridge 2-3 days too. Here is also another Baked beetroot with pomegranate molasses and walnuts recipe, if you like to try out this one too.

I hope you enjoy making this delicious plant based dish, celebrating seasonal root vegetables and wholesome green lentils.

Baked beetroots, celeriac, carrots and green lentils with pomegranate molasses
 
We love beetroots – pancar -, celeriac – kereviz - and carrots – havuc – in Turkish cuisine. Root vegetables, and vegetables in general feature a lot in healthy, delicious Turkish cooking, based on seasonal produce. I recently baked beetroots, celeriac and carrots with red onions, and then mixed with cooked green lentils, served with a simple sauce of pomegranate molasses, olive oil and lemon juice. It turned out to be a light, healthy vegetarian course, packed with flavor. It works great with grills, pasta or as a delicious vegetarian meal on its own. Leftovers can be kept in fridge 2-3 days too.
Author:
Recipe type: Plant based / Vegan
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 690g/1lb 8oz -6 medium raw beetroots, peeled, cut into small chunks
  • 630g/1lb 6oz -1 medium celeriac, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 600g/1lb 5oz baby carrots, washed, topped and halved lengthways (or large carrots, cut in small chunks)
  • 1 large red onion, peeled, cut into small wedges
  • 140g/5oz green lentils, rinsed
  • 60ml/4tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the pomegranate molasses sauce:
  • 30ml/2tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 15ml/1tbsp water
  • 60ml/6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ juice of lemon
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped – to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
  2. Put the prepared vegetables on a large baking tray. Drizzle with 4 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
  3. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are baking, cook the green lentils. Place the rinsed green lentils on a medium pan. Pour in hot water and boil for 25 minutes over medium heat. Stir once in a while so the lentils won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once cooked, drain and rinse over cold water over colander/sieve. Set the cooked green lentils aside in a bowl.
  5. After 35 minutes of roasting, check the vegetables and gently mix. Remove the foil and roast for a further 15 minutes, until tender and starting to colour at the edges.
  6. Once baked, combine the cooked green lentils with the baked vegetables.
  7. For the pomegranate molasses sauce; mix the pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi, with water, lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Pour the sauce over the baked vegetables and green lentils and combine gently.
  9. Place the baked vegetables and lentils on a serving plate. Scatter over the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
  10. Afiyet Olsun.

New Online Cookery Classes

Ozlem’s Turkish Table ~ Peri’s Spice Ladle – Healthy Lentils and Beans Virtual Cooking Class ; Friday January 8th 2021

Please join us to kick start the New Year at virtual cooking session on Friday, January 8th across time zones (9a Pacific Time, that’s 5p UK time) as we will be teaching healthy, plant-forward, family-friendly lentil and beans dishes from the Turkish and Indian cuisines. Prominent food writer and amazing cookery instructor Perinaz Avari is passionate about her native Parsi and Indian food, as I am about wholesome Turkish Cuisine. We would be delighted to have you with us at this delicous, wholesome, comforting class.

Please kindly see the class details and register at this link to join the class, we look forward to cooking together and taking you to a culinary journey to our homelands.

Please visit my Cookery Classes page for more upcoming Turkish cookery classes.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book and Apron

My sincere thanks to you all for your amazing response and support for Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book this year. This special book has been my way of celebrating my southern Turkish roots, passing down my mother and grandmother’s delicious, wholesome recipes as well as popular, authentic Turkish recipes to food lovers. It sold over 7,000 copies worldwide, won Gourmands Best in the World Award in Food Heritage category. I am delighted to share that its 4th print run now on its way. My very sincere thanks to GB Publishing and Pinar Foods UK and to you dear readers, for your amazing support. It’s been very special to share my homeland’s delicious, healthy recipes with you all and I can’t wait to keep on sharing even more.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book are available at this link here, it is delivered worldwide including the US. We are also delighted to offer you this special Ozlem’s Turkish Table apron. It is special to my heart, as it is made in Turkey, with my hometown Antakya’s celebrated daphne leaves in the hand embroidered design – this lovely apron could also make a wonderful gift for; you can get yours at this link. Delivered worldwide including the US.

Turkish Breakfast spread from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book; photo credit: Sian Irvine Food Photography

My very best wishes to you all for the New Year, in good health, happiness and delicious food.

Mutlu Yillar, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Online Cookery Classes coming up! And Stuffed aubergines with lentils, Mercimekli Karniyarik

Joint Online Cookery Class with Ozlem’s Turkish Table and Peri’s Spice Ladle

Saturday, October 10th; 9am PT (5pm UK)

I am absolutely delighted and so excited to be teaching a joint online cookery class with dear friend, author and fellow food blogger, Peri Avari  owner of the wonderful blog Peri’s Spice Ladle.  Peri is an amazing cook, culinary teacher and food consultant, with a wide range of food industry experience accross the globe; she is also very passionate about her Parsi heritage and cuisine. Our friendship and love of sharing our cuisines goes back over 10 years. Peri and I used to live in Austin – TX over 12 years ago and we used to run a monthly cooking club  – along with friends with Italian and British heritage- where each month one of us would run a cooking class of that cuisine and teach others. We would then enjoy the fruits of our labour with our families – food has always been so delicious but that time we spent together has been the most precious.

Peri and I are now so excited to carry on sharing our passion for our cuisines at this very special online cookery class on  Saturday, October 10th; 9am PT (5pm UK) –  to 10.15am PT (6.15pm UK) Peri in California – US and I will be in England – UK. We can’t wait to have your company at our cookery class! I will be making Aubergine/lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, Mercimekli Mualla, a delicious vegan and gluten-free dish from my hometown Antakya -Turkey and Peri will be demonstrating Parsi Tamota per Eedu (Stovetop spicy tangy tomato frittata) a popular family recipe that highlights the Parsi love for cooking eggs with vegetables. We will finish off Ozlem demonstrating how to make Turkish coffee and Peri, her Parsi Choi with hint of fresh mint, ginger and cardamom. We will talk about similarities and variations in our cuisines, our food stories and of course will answer any questions you may have.

Here is the booking link for this special class; participation is limited registration is open worldwide. Both Peri and I can’t wait to cook with you all – do hope to see you at the class!

Ozlem’s Turkish Table ~ Peri’s Spice Ladle Joint Virtual Cooking Class, October 10thRegister Here

My Turkish Meze Feast Online Class with Milk Street Cooking School

Saturday, December 5th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM GMT

I am delighted to be teaching a Turkish meze feast online class with Milk Street Cooking School on Saturday, December 5th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM GMT. We will be making the ever popular Traybake filo pastry with spinach and feta (Ispanakli, Peynirli Borek) and a spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses (Kisir), from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book. Fantastic recipes that we can recreate at home, great for the upcoming holiday season too.

Please register at this link, if you like to join our Turkish Meze Feast online class.

Spinach and cheese pie with filo pastry – Ispanakli, Peynirli Borek

About this Event

Turkish cuisine is healthy, delicious and, with a little bit of confidence, so easy to make. Join guest chef Özlem Warren, author of the cookbook “Özlem’s Turkish Table,” as she takes you on a culinary journey to Turkey and shows you how to make two delicious mezes: the ever-popular traybake filo pastry with spinach and feta (Ispanakli, Peynirli Borek) and a spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses (Kisir), both from Özlem’s homeland, Turkey. Mezes are delightful appetizers that play an important role in Turkish cuisine and are perfect to share with family and friends. During the class, Özlem will also offer ideas for substitutions, tips for cooking and freezing ahead of time, and stories from her home. Join Özlem for a meze feast!

Turkish Cuisine Presentation with the Oklahoma University, Schusterman Library

Last Thursday, I had the honor of presenting Turkish cuisine on a special zoom event, very kindly hosted by the Oklahoma University, Schusterman Library. It was well attended with folks all round the world and we got such positive feedback. For the folks who missed it, here is the Youtube video of our session, I hope you enjoy it:

Stuffed aubergines/eggplants with lentils and vegetables;  Mercimekli Karniyarik

My family loves Karniyarik, Stuffed aubergines/eggplants with minced/ground meat and vegetables, one of my favourite dishes growing up in Turkey too. We equally love lentils; in an attempt for my children to enjoy lentils more, I made this plant based version of Karniyarik, Stuffed aubergines/eggplants with green lentils and vegetables, Mercimekli Karniyarik. Filling has been similar to Antakya’s Mercimekli Mualla, Aubergine, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil recipe. I used green peppers here and added pul biber, Turkish red pepper flakes in the seasoning, along with the refreshing dried mint. The end result has been so very delicious and light in flavour – delighted to report  the children loved it too.

I sprinkled some grated cheese (mild grated mozzarella, Turkish beyaz peynir or feta cheese would all work well) over a couple of our Stuffed aubergines, this version has been a delicious variation too. You can prepare the filling ahead of time; this lovely dish tastes even better the next day and freezes well.

I am passionate about healthy Turkish cuisine, packed full of wholesome, delicious recipes. It is based on seasonal produce and we use wholegrains, pulses and legumes frequently. Dishes are flavoured naturally with olive oil, nuts, spices and natural condiments like pomegranate molasses. A lot of options for vegetarian and plant based diets too, in Turkish cuisine. Over 90 healthy, delicious Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed hardback copies are now 25 % OFF via GBPublishing.org available at this link and delivered worldwide, including US and Canada; you can also see kindle and other options here too, if interested.

 

Stuffed aubergines with lentils, Mercimekli Karniyarik
 
My family loves Karniyarik, Stuffed aubergines/eggplants with minced/ground meat and vegetables, one of my favourite dishes growing up in Turkey too. We equally love lentils; in an attempt for my children to enjoy lentils more, I made this plant based version of Karniyarik, using green lentils and vegetables, Mercimekli Karniyarik. Filling has been similar to Antakya’s Mercimekli Mualla, Aubergine, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil recipe. I used green peppers here and added pul biber, Turkish red pepper flakes in the seasoning, along with the refreshing dried mint. The end result has been so very delicious and light in flavour – delighted to report the children loved it too. I sprinkled some grated cheese (mild grated mozzarella, Turkish beyaz peynir or feta cheese would all work well) over a couple of our Stuffed aubergines, this version has been a delicious variation too. You can prepare the filling ahead of time; this lovely dish tastes even better the next day and freezes well.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian, Vegan
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 dark purple medium aubergines/eggplants
  • 60ml/4tbsp green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, finely chopped (save 4 thin strips of green peppers for decoration)
  • 200g/7oz (1/2 can of) chopped tomatoes
  • 90ml/3fl oz water
  • 60ml/4tbsp light olive oil, canola oil or groundnut oil to par bake the aubergine halves
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil (for the filling)
  • 4 slices of tomato for decoration
  • 30ml/2tbsp grated cheese (mozzarella or beyaz peynir, feta cheese ) – optional –
  • 10ml/2tsp dried mint
  • 5ml/1tsp Turkish pul biber or chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  2. Cut the aubergines/eggplants in half lengthways leaving the stalk intact. In each half of the aubergine, cut a deep split lengthways without cutting through to the skin on the opposite side and leaving ½in/13mm uncut at either end. Sprinkle salt over the flesh side of the aubergines and leave them aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Dry the aubergines/eggplants with kitchen towel thoroughly. Place them on a baking tray, skin side down. Pour in the light olive oil (or canola or groundnut oil) over the aubergine halves and rub the oil all round them. Bake in the preheated oven (200C/400F) for 30-35 minutes, until they soften and start to get a nice brown colour at the edges.
  4. While aubergines are baking, put the green lentils in a pan of boiling water, stir and cover. Simmer in low heat for 15 minutes. Drain the water and place the lentils in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Combine the partially cooked lentils with onion, garlic, bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, salt, dried mint, olive oil and Turkish pul biber or chili flakes in the bowl. Season with ground black pepper; check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  6. Take out the partially baked aubergines from the oven and turn the heat down to 180C/350F.
  7. Once cool enough to handle, gently open up the cavity of the softened aubergines. Place them on a baking dish. Spoon the filling into the cavity of the aubergine/eggplant halves, also some over the top. Place a slice of tomato and pepper on each half. Pour 90ml/3fl oz water on the can of chopped tomatoes you have used, to finish off the left over tomato sauce. Mix and pour this on the baking tray. Cover and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  8. Then uncover the baking dish, and if you prefer, sprinkle some grated cheese over. Bake further 10 minutes or until they are tender and the aubergines/eggplants are nicely browned on top.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature, with pide ekmek or crusty bread aside.
  10. Afiyet Olsun.
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