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Tag Archives | healthy vegetarian dips

Broad beans dip with dill and red peppers; Kirmizi Biberli Fava

Bountiful, seasonal produce at the Farmer's Market, Pazar, in Istanbul; of one my favorite places to visit as soon as I am at home.

Bountiful, seasonal produce at the Farmers’ Market, Pazar, in Istanbul; of one my favorite places to visit as soon as I am at home.

I love this time of the year when all the fresh produce is at its best. Farmers’ Markets or Pazar, as we call it in Turkish, are packed with ripe juicy tomatoes (why not enjoy tomatoes in this Gavurdagi Salad of ripe tomatoes, walnuts with pomegranate molasses dressing), slim gorgeous aubergines /eggplants (try Imam Bayildi, eggplants cooked in olive oil with vegetables; a delicious and refreshing vegetarian course you can prepare ahead of time), watermelon, peppers and many more. Turkish cuisine is based on using fresh, seasonal produce and seeing these is a paradise on a plate for me.

Fresh broad beans; I love their earthy, delicious flavour

Fresh broad beans; I love their earthy, delicious flavour

 I was delighted to find fresh broad beans or fava beans in my local farmers market a few weeks ago. Fresh broad beans are available from late spring until about end of August. Broad beans were a staple food in ancient times and they are common in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines today. They are very high in protein and fiber and naturally low in fat and cholesterol. I love their unique, earthy flavor, especially in this popular mezze in Turkey; Fava, Pureed broad beans with dill, lemon juice and olive oil. Traditionally, we use dried broad beans for this puree; this time I used fresh broad beans and it worked really well.

Broad beans puree with dill and sauteed peppers in olive oil; a delicious dip

Broad beans puree with dill and sauteed peppers in olive oil; a scrumptious dip

I especially loved the bright sweetness of the fresh broad beans in this appetizer. Blended with dill, olive oil and lemon juice, it turned out to be a delicious, earthy dip. It has a consistency of a thick hummus and is delightful on toasted bread or crackers. I served this dip with sautéed strips of red peppers in red pepper flakes (pul biber) infused olive oil; the sweetness of the peppers and the touch of spice from the red pepper flakes worked so well with the earthy flavor of the broad beans. As you can prepare ahead of time, it makes a lovely entertaining dish. This broad beans puree keeps very well in the fridge for a good few days.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, available to order at this link

Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and offers a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices, very healthy and delicious too. I aimed to showcase our healthy Turkish cuisine with over 90 delicious, authentic dishes at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland; Signed copies available to order at this link, if you’d like. Regular copies are also available on Amazon now at this link.

Serves 2 – 4

200 gr/ 7 oz./1  ¾   cups fresh broad beans, shelled (or a generous 1 cup dried broad beans)

1 small potato, cut in chunky cubes

1 small onion, roughly chopped

30 ml/ 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

5ml/ 1 tsp. brown sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

30ml/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To serve:

1 small red bell (or pointy) pepper, deseeded and cut into thin stripes

30ml/2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

30ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil

5ml/1 tsp. Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber)

fresh broad beans, onions and potatoes work well in this delicious dip

Fresh broad beans, onions and potatoes work well in this delicious dip

If you are using dried broad beans, place the beans in a bowl of water and soak overnight or for at least 4-6 for six hours. Drain beans and then cook them in boiling water with the potatoes and onions. Simmer for about 40-45 minutes, until tender. Once cooked, drain the water and set aside to cool.

If you are using fresh broad beans, blanch the shelled beans in boiling water for about a minute, then grasp them by the furrowed ends and slip them out of their skins.

In a small saucepan, add these broad beans, potatoes and onions, cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pulse the cooked beans and vegetables with dill in a food processor to form a purée consistency.

Pulse the cooked beans and vegetables with dill in a food processor to form a purée consistency.

Pulse the cooked beans and vegetables with dill in a food processor to form a purée consistency. Remove from the food processor into a bowl and stir in olive oil, sugar and lemon juice. Season with salt and ground black pepper to your taste.

Broad beans and vegetables puree; chill and set in the fridge.

Broad beans and vegetables puree; chill and set in the fridge.

Just before serving, gentlyheat the olive oil in a pan and stir in the Turkish red pepper flakes. Add the stripes of red bell peppers, combine and cook for a few minutes. The red pepper flakes will infuse to the olive oil and turn into a lovely red color. Stir in the fresh dill and turn the heat off.

Once the broad beans puree is set in the fridge, unmold, turn the puree over on a serving dish. Drizzle the sautéed peppers and the olive oil over and around the pureed broad beans dip. You can enjoy this delicious dip with toasted bread or crackers aside.

Broad beans puree with dill and sauteed peppers in olive oil; a delicious dip

Broad beans puree with dill and sauteed peppers in olive oil; a delicious dip, great for entertaining.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Tips for buying fresh fava (broad beans):

  • When purchasing fresh fava beans (or broad beans), look for bright green pods that are free of yellow patches. Large beans are starchy and firm, while smaller ones are sweeter and tenderer.
  • If you are buying shelled beans, make sure they are tender and have a smooth surface.
  • To store shelled fava beans, spread them out in a single layer and cover them loosely with plastic wrap for up to three days.

 

 

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Ezme; Spread of Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers with Red Pepper Paste

Scrumptious spread of Ezme; makes a great appetizer and goes really well with grilled meat and vegetables.

Have you ever tried the delicious Turkish mezze, Ezme? This tomato based delicious appetizer has a wonderful mixture of sweet, spicy and acidic flavors and it is one of my favorite mezzes served in the kebab houses at home, a very memorable gastronomic experience.

Humble and fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onion, peppers transform to a magical taste with a touch of red pepper paste and extra virgin olive oil.

Ezme is a very typical Turkish mezze, served in kebab houses throughout Turkey. With a touch of hot red pepper paste and extra virgin olive oil, these simple but fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onion, herbs and good olive oil produce this surprisingly complex yet refreshing and a very more-ish mezze. You can make Ezme ahead of time, so it is very entertaining friendly too.

Biber Salcasi; Turkish hot red pepper paste add a lot of flavour to dishes; you can also easily make at home too.

 

There are quite a few variations for Ezme; my favorite is the way it is done in the Southeast Turkey, where my roots are from.  Biber Salcasi,  Turkish red pepper paste is a major staple in the regions of Gaziantep  and Antakya and a little of this wonderful paste adds such a rich, complex flavor to the Ezme. You can also make red pepper paste at home with my recipe, easy and delicious. An important trick to Ezme is to rub the red pepper paste and tomato paste to the onions with your hands so that the paste infuses; these also soften the onions and make them more palatable.

 

You can serve Ezme over crackers or pita bread as an appetizer; it can also accompany kebabs, grilled meats and roasted vegetables beautifully too. Why not try Ayran, delicious Turkish traditional yoghurt drink to accompany this wonderful feast?

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book  available at this link

Turkish cuisine has a long and rich tradition of incorporating hot and cold mezes, regional, delicious dips and salads, variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free courses. They have all been included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table; signed copies of my cookery book is available at this link.

 

Serves 4                                   Preparation time: 15 – 20 minutes

4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 small spicy pointy green peppers –(use less or more depending on how spicy you like)
15ml/1 tbsp red pepper paste (or a little less if you prefer less spicy) – If you can’t get red pepper paste, you can add a touch of spice with 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
15ml/1 tbsp tomato paste
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
30ml/ 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the red pepper paste and tomato paste with the onions in a bowl. Knead and mix them well with your hands so that the paste infuses to the onions; this also softens the onions and make them more palatable.  If you can’t get red pepper paste, you can add a touch of spice with 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes and infuse them to the  onions with the tomato paste.

Ezme is ready to be enjoyed; though not traditional, I like to add a few walnuts over Ezme when serving, for extra texture and taste.

Stir in the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and mint, combine well. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over. Season with salt and ground pepper and give them all a good mix. Cover and keep in the fridge until serving. It would be best if you can let the Ezme sit for an hour or so before serving; this will help the flavors mingle & settle.

You can prepare Ezme ahead of time; it tastes even better the next day!

Ezme is delicious over flat bread, crackers, pitta bread. I like to add a few walnuts over when serving, love the added texture and taste it adds.

Though not traditional, I like to sprinkle a few walnuts around Ezme when serving; I love the added texture and taste walnuts brings to Ezme.

I hope you enjoy making your own Ezme, and that it brings happy memories of your visit to Turkey or inspires for a visit! : )

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

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