Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More

Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more

Turkish cookery book

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.
 

Continue Reading

Sauteed courgettes and carrots in yoghurt – Ozlem’s Turkish Table in the USA!

Merhaba Dear All,

I hope you enjoy my new recipe, Sautéed carrots and courgette/zucchini with walnuts in yoghurt –  Yogurtlu havuc ve kabak salatasi, in this post.

This is a much loved meze at home; sweetness of sautéed carrots and courgette/zucchini works so well in garlicky yoghurt with dill. I added chopped gherkins, our tursu here (capers would work well too) here for a touch of tanginess and crunchy walnuts for added texture and flavour. A delicious dip that you can serve as part of your mezze spread, great with grills and pasta too. You can prepare this meze ahead of time and store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days. Another version of this dip, with Sauteed carrots in garlicky yoghurt and parsley is also at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sauteed courgettes and carrots in yoghurt - Ozlem's Turkish Table in the USA!
 
This is a much loved meze at home; sweetness of sautéed carrots and courgette/zucchini works so well in garlicky yoghurt with dill. I added chopped gherkins, our tursu here (capers would work well too) here for a touch of tanginess and crunchy walnuts for added texture and flavour. A delicious dip that you can serve as part of your mezze spread, great with grills and pasta too. You can prepare this meze ahead of time and store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian sides
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium courgette/zucchini, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 45ml/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 15ml/1 tbsp chopped gherkins or capers
  • 45ml / 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 230g/8 oz strained or whole milk yoghurt
  • 45ml / 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the grated courgette/zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with a little salt and leave to drain for 10 minutes. Using a tea towel or sturdy paper towels, really squeeze out any excess juice from the courgette/zucchini and put in a large bowl. Combine the grated carrots with the courgette in the bowl.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wide heavy pan and sauté the grated carrots and courgette for 3-4 minutes, over medium to high heat. Stir in the garlic, season with salt and ground black pepper and sauté further 4 minutes. The vegetables will soften up but still a little crunchy. Turn the heat off and leave them aside to cool in a large bowl.
  3. Once cool, stir in the chopped gherkins or capers and dill to the sautéed carrots and courgette. Fold in the yoghurt and chopped walnuts, combine well. Season with salt and black pepper, if needed.
  4. Spread over a serving plate, with a few pieces of chopped walnuts over the top, if you like. Afiyet Olsun.
Hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book in the US – at Milk Street Online Store!

We are absolutely delighted to share that hardback copies of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, is now available at the Milk Street Online store!

We have been trying hard for the readers in the US and North America to be able to have hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table and I am thrilled that Milk Street online store now carries it. I am proud to be a friend of Milk Street and love teaching online classes with them, do hope you enjoy my cookery book, you can order your copy here.

Let’s Make Mezze! Filo triangles with cheese and spinach (Muska boregi), Courgette/zucchini fritters (Mucver) and Piyaz salad with sumac onions, tomato, parsley Zoom Cooking Class

Saturday, June 5th 2021, 6 pm – 7.30 pm (BST)

Spinach and feta cheese filo triangles, Muska Boregi

We love mezze; small plateful of savoury pastries, salads, dips, vegetables prepared in countless ways, in Turkish cuisine; these delightful plates adorn our table, to share with family and friends. Please join our zoom class on Saturday, June 5th, 6pm – 7.30pm (BST), as I will be teaching how to make some of my favourite mezzes. We will be making the popular Filo triangles with cheese and spinach (Muska boregi), Courgette/zucchini fritters with herbs and cheese (Mucver) and Piyaz salad with sumac onions, tomato, parsley – a feast you will be surprised to see how easy to make too.

Date: Saturday, June 5th 2021

Time: 6pm- 7.30pm (BST)

Cost: 30 GBP per person

To register for the class, please kindly make the payment of 30 GBP  per person via the PayPal button at my Cookery Classes page. The classes tend to sell out quickly therefore early registration is recommended.

I hope you can join us to make this delicious meze feast and take a virtual culinary journey to my homeland, Turkey.

Continue Reading

Chickpea Salad with sumac onions, peppers, spinach and tomatoes

Merhaba Dear All,

We have been enjoying this lovely Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean Salad with sumac onions, peppers, spinach and tomatoes a lot. This is a delicious variation of the much loved Turkish bean salad, Fasulye Piyazi with some more veg added to it. We love chickpeas and they are fantastic paired with cumin (as in hummus), and with sumac infused onions in this refreshing, nutritious salad. If you like greens, by all means add more spinach or pepper here. It is a lovely, easy to make substantial salad for lunch, can be served as part of meze or a side to grilled vegetables, fish or meat. You can use cannellini or your other favourite cooked beans in this salad instead of chickpeas too.

Note: If you prefer to use the dried chickpeas, you need to soak them in cold water overnight. Then drain the chickpeas and put them in a pan with plenty of fresh water. Cook for about 60 minutes or until tender, adding salt toward the end of the cooking time. Drain and set aside in a bowl, to be used in this salad.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chickpea Salad with sumac onions, peppers, spinach and tomatoes
 
This is a delicious variation of the much loved Turkish beans salad, Fasulye Piyazi with some more veg added to it. We love chickpeas and they are fantastic paired with cumin (as in hummus), and with sumac infused onions in this refreshing, nutritious salad. If you like greens, by all means add more spinach or pepper here. It is a lovely, easy to make substantial salad for lunch, can be served as part of meze or a side to grilled vegetables, fish or meat. You can use cannellini or your other favourite cooked beans in this salad instead of chickpeas too.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegan, Healthy Salads
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 x 14oz can of precooked chickpea / garbanzo beans
  • 1tsp/5ml ground sumac (use more if you are a fan!)
  • 1tsp/5ml ground cumin
  • ½ medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 40g/1 ½ oz spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  • For the dressing:
  • 30ml/2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ juice of lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of extra sumac to serve
  • Flatbread or pita bread to serve
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, rub a pinch of salt and ground sumac into the onion slices with your hands really well. This will soften the onions and make them more palatable, will also help infuse tangy sumac to the onion slices.
  2. Place the precooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans on a colander, drain its liquid and rinse over running water. Combine the chickpeas with the onions in the mixing bowl. Stir in the ground cumin and season with salt to your taste, mix well.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, peppers, spring onion and spinach into the bowl and combine well with the chickpeas and onion mixture.
  4. For the dressing; combine the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in a small container. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste.
  5. Pour in the seasoning over the salad and combine well. Transfer the salad into a serving plate. Serve with an extra pinch of ground sumac sprinkled over, if you like, with plenty flat breads or pita bread by the side, to mop up the delicious juices.
  6. Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem

Kurban Bayrami – Eid In Istanbul

It’s been really special to be able to make it to Istanbul to see my dear mother, Gulcin, my sister and family, during the past Kurban Bayrami, Eid. I haven’t been able to see them for a long while; it was a precious time spend together. As with every Turkish gathering with family, it included feasts to share – Turkish breakfast, dinners, Turkish coffee and more. Here are a few photos for you – including a special photo above with my dear mum Gulcin and my lovely niece Defne.

Our Bayram Turkish breakfast, my favourite meal of the day. Traybake Borek, Filo Pastry with Spinach and cheese is everyone’s favourite, here’s my recipe and my youtube video links.

And scrumptious Bayram meals shared with family; I love how these special events bring us together. My cousin’s home made Baklava with walnuts were delicious, here’s my recipe and youtube vide on how to make baklava, it is easier than you think and so delicious.

Last but not least, my dear cousin Nihal hosted us for another family feast – her Tray bake Kebab, Antakya’s Tepsi Kebabi was so delicious. This is such an easy kebab to make at home, here’s my recipe if you like to give a go.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Booksigning in Bebek – Istanbul

I also managed to do a little book signing while in Istanbul, at the lovely Bebek district – thank you Emily for your kind interest for Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book!

A little reminder that  signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book are delivered worldwide, including US and Canada at this link – You can also see also kindle, ebook etc options here (Delighted to share that kindle version of Ozlem’s Turkish table is No.3 in Canada for Turkish cooking, thank you!). You can see all options here via GBPublishing.

My best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Continue Reading