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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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Lockdown Cooking Ideas from Ozlem’s Turkish Table (Signed copies now 30 % Off)

Merhaba dear all,

Semolina sponge cake in syrup; Revani

I hope this note finds you all well. We have been doing lots of home cooking and baking with the children and preparing food for the homeless and folks in self isolation, during the lockdown. There is a great comfort in home cooking, especially wholesome Turkish cooking – not only takes your mind off things, but a great activity to do with kids at home in between home schooling. If you are on social media, I do live videos at my Ozlem’s Turkish Table instagram and facebook pages too. Here is my Revani, Semolina sponge cake recipe we baked with my daughter, as well my Revani you tube video here.

Flexibility is the key especially at challenging times like this, so by all means experiment with the ingredients you have and substitute when needed; I try to give options at my recipes and at my you tube videos, like at my Baked Meatballs and vegetables casserole video here (courgettes, runner beans, peas all would work here as an option)

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, now 30 % OFF

I got this lovely note from Claire, she says “My Christmas present from my brother and Turkish sister-in-law was your fabulous cook book. It turns out that my local corner shop is stocked full of Turkish food, so I’ve been having a great time trying out your recipes! There’s generally something in the book for anything in my veg box (other than parsnips!), and it’s all turned out delicious. Now that I’ve got the pastry, I might brave trying kunefe this weekend, if I can get the right cheese. Thank you for keeping me so well-fed in lockdown”Thank you dear Claire and all folks who kindly sent notes on how much they have been enjoying the recipes, especially during the lockdown period. I am very happy to hear recipes enjoyed and bring some joy and comfort.

 

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table now 30 % OFF via my publisher GBPublishing at this link and it is delivered promptly worldwide, including US and Canada. We hope this would help with delicous wholesome Turkish home cooking during lockdown. It can also be a lovely gift to a foodie, with Mother’s Day approaching.

Lockdown Cooking and Happy Ramadan – Ramadan Mubarak – wholesome, easy meal ideas

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi

Happy Ramadan, Ramadan Mubarak, Hayirli Ramazanlar to all observing. Turkish food offers plenty healthy, convenient choices at this special time in Muslim calendar. Our iftar meals would traditionally start with a wholesome soup, such as this Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi – one of our favourites; make a big batch as it freezes very well.

Vegetarian Pide, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Many of my readers have been doing a lot of baking especially during the lockdown and this Vegetarian Pide, Turkish oval flat breads with cheese and vegetables, have been very popular – easier than you think! Here’s my recipe link; you can use any veg you have at home that needs using. You can bake the pide ahead of time and give a gentle reheat before you eat. Once it is cooked, it freezes well too, as a whole or in slices, wrapped in foil.

Turkish bean salad with sumac onions, olive and eggs – Fasulye Piyazi

We have been eating a lot of cupboard staples such as tinned chickpeas and beans; they are a great source of protein, healthy and convenient. You can flavour beans beautifully as in this Turkish bean salad with sumac onions, olive and eggs – tangy sumac adds a lot of flavour to the onions. It makes a wonderful lunch or can be a part of Ramadan iftar meals with grills aside too; you can substitute beans with chickpeas in this salad too. Here’s also my You Tube video link for this delicious Turkish bean salad.

Baked aubergine kebab with chicken – Patlicanli Kebap

Baked eggplant kebab with chicken, onions, peppers; Patlicanli Tepsi Kebabi

How about this yoghurt and spices marinated Baked aubegine kebab with chicken, Patlicanli Kebap? An impressive dish to serve, easy to make too. Aubergines here are double baked, which intensify its flavour; you can marinate the chicken ahead of time – leftovers freeze very well too.

Green (runner) beans cooked in olive oil – Taze Fasulye

Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and we love vegetables. This green beans cooked in olive oil with onions, garlic, tomatoes, Taze Fasulye, is a national favourite. Also gluten-free and vegan, it is best to prepare ahead of time and let the flavours develop, it tastes even better the next day. French beans, dwarf beans would all be good for substutition – a delicious, healthy choice for Ramadan too.

Istanbul; we will meet again..

Glorious Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – hope to see you again soon

I have meant to fly to Istanbul end April, to see my mother, family and also run my Turkish cookery classes and  events in Fethiye and Kalkan. With the current pandemic, it was not meant to be. I am hopeful that we will meet again and see our loved ones soon, fingers crossed. Until then, we will keep on bringing a bit of home with our food and reconnect with family, friends and share our food virtually. We baked this Turkish bread rings with sesame seeds, Simit, our popular street food with the children the other day. It certainly brought a huge dose of home and smiles; here is my recipe link, I do hope you enjoy it too.

Stay well, keep cooking, afiyet olsun,

Ozlem

 

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