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Tag Archives | healthy vegetarian meals

Ozlem’s Turkish Table at Turkish Embassy, London and Courgette, lentils, Swiss chard cooked in olive oil

Merhaba Dear All,

It’s been a busy and exciting few months for Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, as it has been awarded as the Winner of the prestigious Gourmand World Cookery Book Award, in the Food Heritage Category for Turkey.  The Gourmand Awards are often compared by journalists to the “Oscars” and we are absolutely delighted. Ozlem’s Turkish Table is now being reprinted with the Gourmand seal to reach out more Turkish food lovers around the world, with sincere thanks to all dear readers, Pinar UK and GB Publishing. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is available at this link and it is delivered worldwide.

I am delighted to share the latest news from Ozlem’s Turkish Table, and my new recipe, Courgette/zucchini, lentils, Swiss chard and peppers cooked in olive oil – Kabakli, Mercimekli Mualla at this post, I hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to have a go at delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Turkish Cuisine Presentation at the Turkish Embassy Residence, London

February also marked a very special event at the Turkish Embassy Residence in London. Our Turkish Ambassador HE Mr Yalcin and Mrs Yalcin very kindly hosted our Turkish Cuisine evening at the Turkish Embassy Residence in London on February 12th, with the participation of diplomats, press, distinguished guests in London. It was a real honor to do a presentation on our healthy, wholesome Turkish cuisine to our guests, with thousands years of culinary heritage. The journalist Ayse Arman was amongst the guests and very kindly did a wonderful write up about the evening and our efforts to promote Turkish cuisine abroad.

After my presentation and demonstration of Potatoes and bulgur patties with pomegranate molasses, Patatesli, bulgurlu kofte, Turkish Embassy chefs and kitchen staff very kindly prepared a feast from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, to serve our guests; it was an honor to see recipes from my cookery book prepared and displayed so beautifully, so very delighted that everyone enjoyed the evening. My very sincere thanks to our Ambassador and his wife, Mr and Mrs Yalcin, for hosting this wonderful event.

Courgette/zucchini, lentils, Swiss chard and peppers cooked in olive oil – Kabakli, Mercimekli Mualla

 I love Antakya’s traditional Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla (as featured at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table); it has been very popular with the readers and at my cookery classes. While I was in Guru’s Place Cookery School in Kalkan, Turkey  for my cookery class last year, a Turkish lady there saw our Aubergine with lentils dish and said that she makes another version with courgettes and adds pazi (similar to Swiss card to it); she said it is really lovely too. So inspired by her kind recommendation, here is my Courgette, lentils, Swiss chard and peppers cooked in olive oil, Kabakli Mercimekli Mualla.

And I must say, it is another scrumptious dish. This time, I baked this dish in the oven; baking brought a lovely sweetness to the courgette, peppers and onions and dried mint added delicious freshness. We make this recipe using the Turkish Zeytinyagli method (Vegetables cooked in olive oil) and it’s important to let the dish cool in the pan so it can rest and the flavors develop. Once cooked, it keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days, great for entertaining. It is packed with flavor and wholesome, also gluten-free and plant based. This dish also works very well as a filling in vegetarian lasagna (we tested this too and family loved it, recipe to follow soon). I hope you enjoy my recipe as below, Afiyet Olsun.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Courgette, lentils, Swiss chard and peppers cooked in olive oil; Kabakli, Mercimekli Mualla
 
I love Antakya’s traditional Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla (as featured at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table); it has been very popular with the readers and at my cookery classes. While I was in Guru’s Place Cookery School in Kalkan, Turkey for my cookery class last year, a Turkish lady there saw our Aubergine with lentils dish and said that she makes another version with courgettes and adds pazi (similar to Swiss card to it); she said it is really lovely too. So inspired by her kind recommendation, here is my Courgette, lentils, Swiss chard and peppers cooked in olive oil, Kabakli Mercimekli Mualla. And I must say, it is another scrumptious dish. This time, I baked this dish in the oven; baking brought a lovely sweetness to the courgette, peppers and onions and dried mint added delicious freshness. We make this recipe using the Turkish Zeytinyagli method (Vegetables cooked in olive oil) and it’s important to let the dish cool in the pan so it can rest and the flavors develop. Once cooked, it keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days, great for entertaining. It is packed with flavor and wholesome, also gluten-free and plant based.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian and Vegan
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 175g/6oz green lentils, rinsed
  • 4-5 medium courgette/zucchini
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 200gr/7oz Swiss chard or pazi, washed and roughly chopped
  • 400g/14oz (1 can of) chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 60ml/2fl oz olive oil
  • 240ml/8fl oz water
  • 45ml/3 tablespoons olive oil (to par bake courgettes and peppers)
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon salt
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • 10ml/2 teaspoons dried mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Put the green lentils in a pan of boiling water, stir and cover. Simmer and par boil in low heat for 15 -20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
  3. Cut the courgettes in half lengthways and cut each half into medium slices, about ½ cm, 0.2”. Spread them on a wide tray, sprinkle salt over and leave aside for 10 minutes. Using a paper towel, gently squeeze the excess water out of the courgette/zucchini.
  4. Combine the sliced peppers and courgettes in an oven tray. Drizzle the 3 tbsp./45ml olive oil over them. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Par bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes; this will help courgettes and peppers to soften up and start bringing out their lovely sweet flesh.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the partially cooked lentils, onion, garlic, chopped Swiss chard, chopped tomatoes, salt, dried mint, olive oil and the sugar (if used). Season with ground black pepper, check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  6. In a deep baking dish, place a layer of the par baked courgette and pepper slices. Spread the half of the vegetable and lentil mixture over evenly. Place the remainder of the courgette and pepper slices over the top and spread the remaining vegetable & lentil mixture over also. Add the water, cover with foil and bake at the preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 30 minutes. Then take the foil off and bake for further 10-15 minutes, or until lentils and vegetables fully cooked and have started to have a nice crispy coating.
  7. Once cooked, leave to cool at the baking dish: this will allow the flavors to develop and blend well. Serve at room temperature (or if preferred warm) with some crusty bread. This lovely dish can be served as a vegetarian main course or can accompany grills as a side.
  8. Afiyet Olsun.

Healthy Turkish Vegetarian Feast Master Class – Divertimenti Cookery School, London

Sunday, March 15th, 2020 from 12.00- 15.30 (Hands – On Class)

Join Ozlem at Divertimenti Cookery School in London on Sunday, March 15th, from 12 – 3.30pm  to create a Healthy Turkish Vegetarian Feast, including Baked beetroot with garlic, served with pomegranate molasses and seeds, Spicy Bulgur and Lentil soup (Ezo Gelin Corba), Filo pastry with courgette, cheese and dill, Medley of baked or sauteed  aubergines, peppers and courgettes served in tomato sauce and garlicy yoghurt, finishing with Caramalised carrot paste delight with hazelnuts and shredded coconut and Turkish coffee, from her Gourmand World Cookbook award winning book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. Turkish cuisine is healthy, delicious and recipes can easily be adapted for gluten free and vegan needs too.

Participation is limited for this hands on class, if you like to join us, please kindly book your spot at this link; the class can also make a lovely gift for a foodie.

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Ozlem’s Turkish Table-Winner of Gourmand World Cookery Book Award and Festive Ideas

I am delighted to share with great pleasure and honor that Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book has been awarded as the Winner of the prestigious Gourmand World Cookery Book Award, in the Food Heritage Category for Turkey! The Gourmand Awards are often compared by journalists to the “Oscars” and we are absolutely delighted; this prestigious award will help spreading the word on delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine with a rich culinary heritage and more exciting events on the way! My very sincere thanks to all of you dear readers for your support for this special book, as well as to my publisher GB Publishing and Pinar UK for all their valuable support. Ozlem’s Turkish Table now qualify to compete for Best in the World 2020 in Food Heritage category.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table now 20 % off for the festive season!

Delighted to let you know that the hardback signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table now 20 % off via GB Publishing at this link and  delivered worldwide incl USA, also available in kindle and other formats here. I can make a lovely gift to a foodie.

What I have been up to …

Teaching at Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Cookery School, Boston MA was a special highlight

It’s been a very special few months, teaching Turkish cookery at the Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Cookery School in Boston, in Fethiye, Kalkan – Turkey, Divertimenti Cookery School – London and in Surrey, UK.

I did two days of full master classes at the Milk Street and they have been very special – folks flown in from California, Seattle, North Caroline, Virgina for these classes, so very humbled and greatly enjoyed teaching and meeting everyone – my very sincere thanks to all.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery classes in Kalkan and Fethiye – Turkey

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery demo and Turkish lunch at Villa Cennet Bahcesi, Kalkan

Teaching at Guru’s Place Cookery School, Kalkan – a lot of fun!

Always a pleasure to teach at Yakamoz Hotel – Fethiye

Enjoying our cookery class creations al fresco at Yakamoz Hotel, Oludeniz

As always, greatly enjoyed teaching Turkish cookery in Fethiye and Kalkan in October. Thank you very much to Fethiye Times, dear Lyn Ward for all your help for organising Fethiye and Kalkan classes and huge thanks to Yakamoz Hotel Oludeniz, Villa Cennet Bahcesi, Kalkan and Guru’s Place Kalkan Cookery School for having me and all the lovely folks joined us – greatly look forward to more classes together in 2020. We are working on my 2020 teaching schedule in Kalkan and Fethiye so stay tuned!

From our road trip at beautiful Kalkan with dear Lyn, from Fethiye Times

Festive Turkish meal ideas ..

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi

With the festive season upon us, I love gathering with friends and family and sharing a bite and catch up. As it is a busy time of the year, it is worth thinking about what you will be serving and do some cooking ahead of time. Thankfully, Turkish food is great with ahead of time cooking and freezes well. For instance this delicious and wholesome Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corba (at page 47 from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book); it is a meal itself for me especially for lunch and freezes so well. If you like to make it gluten-free, you can use quinoa instead of bulgur in the soup, as I have done here

Baked aubergine/eggplant kebab with yoghurt and spices – Patlicanli Kebap

This is a lovely, all in one tray home style kebab that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze for your guests. Aubergines/eggplants are double baked here, which intensify their flavour – it is so worth marinating the chicken in yoghurt and spices; it tenderises the chicken and add a lot of flavour. Here is my recipe link (also at page 201 at Ozlem’s Turkish Table)

Aubergine, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil – Mercimekli Mualla 

Aubergines, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil, Mercimekli Mualla, from , Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland

One of my all time vegetarian dishes cooked in olive oil, Zeytinyaglis from my home town Antakya, from my mother’s table; this dish can make a lovely main course for your vegetarian and vegan guests, also gluten-free. It tastes even better the next day so you can easily prepare ahead of time. Dried mint is the star spice here and works so well with green lentils and aubergine, so good. Here’s my recipe link – this lovely dish is also at Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, page 151.

Leeks cooked in olive oil with vegetables – Zeytinyagli Pirasa

Leeks are native to Anatolia and this is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy leeks. It is traditionally served cold or at room temperature, with wedges of lemon aside; it makes a wonderful side dish keeps in fridge well for 2-3 days. Here’s my recipe link, also at page 159 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table.

Rice pilaf with pine nuts, cinnamon, dill and currants

This sophisticated rice pilaf dates back to the Ottoman Palace kitchens and is packed with flavour. I love the different textures and flavours this rice showcases with currants, pine nuts, fresh herbs and warm spices like cinnamon. You can add lamb’s liver as in my recipe at page 225 at Ozlem’s Turkish Table, or opt out and keep it vegetarian, as we did at my recent Supper club at Aromas, Weybridge. It is certainly festive and a big hit with our guests. You can serve it with refreshing Shepherd’s Salad with cucumber, pepper and tomato with a touch a sumac.

Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses – Kisir 

Our welcome salad in Antakya, Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses, Kisir, always features in our festive table. I love this wholesome salad – it is a bowl of health and so entertaining friendly, as it tastes even better the next day, great for prepping ahead of time. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over for a festive decoration. Here’s my recipe link, also at page 81 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table.

Antakya style flat breads with crumbly cokelek or feta, za’atar and red pepper paste – Biberli Ekmek 

Our savoury flat breads are easy to make and complement soups, mains, side dishes beautifully. This delicious flat bread with za’atar topping, Biberli Ekmek, is a specialty from my home town Antakya and always bring back fond memories. It is fantastic to bake ahead of time and freeze. You can then reheat at 180C/350F for 5-8 minutes, ready for your guests. Here’s my recipe link, also at page 137 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table.

Baked Candied Pumpkin dessert with walnuts – Kabak Tatlisi 

Candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts and clotted cream; Kabak Tatlisi

I love the fruity desserts in Turkish cuisine – they are delicious, light and easy to prepare, as in this seasonal Candied Pumpkin dessert with walnuts. Baked in its own juice with sugar, this light but full flavoured pumpkin dessert is best served with crushed walnuts and kaymak, our Turkish thick cream made from water buffalo milk. If you can’t find kaymak, regular clotted cream would work well too. You can prepare this delicious dessert 2-3 days ahead of time. Here’s my recipe link, also at Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, page 275.

I hope you enjoy the festive Turkish food ideas here and they inspire – there is also a whole chapter of Suggested Menus at page 291 at Ozlem’s Turkish Table    May you have a wonderful festive season, in good health, happiness, with friends and family.

Upcoming Events

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Vegetarian Feast and Cookery Demonstration at 

Oso Art Centre, Barnes

Thursday  January 23rd  from 7.30 pm

Please join us at the Oso Art Centre in Barnes on Thursday, January 23rd 2020 from 7.30pm, as Ozlem Warren will serve a feast of vegetarian Turkish dishes from her award winning cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table and demonstrate how to make the popular Spicy Bulgur Wheat Salad with pomegranate molasses, Kisir and Traybake filo pastry with cheese and spinach.  Ozlem will also give tips on how to make the below vegetarian dishes she will be serving.

We will be serving Spicy bulgur and lentil soup with dried mint and Aleppo pepper, Hummus with cumin and red pepper flakes, Aubergine and lentils cooked in olive oil, Baked potato, olives, red pepper and onions with cumin, Baked cauliflower with cheese, spring onion and herbs, Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses, Traybake filo pastry with cheese and spinach, Zesty semolina sponge cake, Revani.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book will be available to buy at the evening (25 GBP per copy). We will also run a raffle amongst the guests at the evening and one lucky winner will get a signed copy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table!

Tickets can be purchased at this link and it can make a lovely festive gift to a foodie!

Friday, February 28th, 7.30pm – Turkish Vegetarian Feast Supper Club and Cookery Workshop at Aromas

 Weybridge, Surrey

Kick start the new year to learn a new skill, making savoury filo pie with a variety of fillings, at our Turkish Vegetarian Feast Supper Club and Workshop at Aromas, Weybridge on Friday, Feb 28th evening from 7.30 pm  We will serve you some scrumptious healthy Turkish and Mediterranean vegetarian dishes as below, and moreover, you will get to make a vegetarian savory filo pie, our Turkish borek, at our workshop and you will take your pie/borek back home. We believe healthy food can also be very delicious and we will show you how – new inspirations in the new year, healthy food made easy!

We will serve delicious vegetarian courses and Ozlem will give you tips on how to make them.

Savory filo pie/borek with vegetarian fillings workshop during the night!:

And during the night, at our workshop, you will also get to make your savory filo pie with a variety of fillings to choose – you will get to take your savoury pie / borek back home!
This exciting event is likely to sell out to please book your spot soon at this link soon!
It can also make a lovely present for a foodie for the festive season (gift certificates available).
We look forward to welcoming you at Aromas on February 28th at our exciting event!
  • My very best wishes to you all for the festive season; and my sincere thanks for all your support and kind words for Ozlem’s Turkish Table – 65  – 5 star reviews on Amazon UK – ; it gives me so much happiness hearing you enjoy my recipes and it helps you to connect to this special land and remember, recreate fond memories.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

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Wholesome Bulgur Pilaf with Freekeh, Green Beans and Red Onions

Bulgur with freekeh, green beans and red onions; Taze fasulyeli, firikli bulgur pilavi

Bulgur with freekeh, green beans and red onions; Taze fasulyeli, firikli bulgur pilavi

Firik or Freekeh is indeed super food and an ancient grain; I love its delicious, nutty taste, similar to pearl barley. I recently made this delicious bulgur pilaf with freekeh and green beans; it turned out to be a wholesome, tasty vegetarian main course for us. We enjoyed bulgur with freekeh and green beans, Taze Fasulyeli, Firikli Bulgur Pilavi, with my Cacik dip of yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint for a complete and wholesome meal. If you are observing Ramadan, this wholesome pilaf with vegetables also proves to be a healthy, easy and delicious meal option.

Freekeh or firik; a wholesome, delicious and ancient grain

Bulgur and freekeh or firik; a wholesome, delicious and ancient grain

Freekeh is used a lot at my home town Antakya, ancient Antioch, and pairs with bulgur, vegetables and meat beautifully. Firik, (as in Turkish) or Freekeh (sometimes spelled frikeh) or farik is a cereal food made from green wheat that goes through a roasting process in its production. Firik is a popular and ancient grain used Middle Eastern & Southern Turkish cuisine and also popular in Levantine, Egyptian, Arabian Peninsula and North African cuisine. Here’s some more information on freekeh and my bulgur pilaf with freekeh, eggplant (aubergine) and meat recipe if you’d like to try out.

Bulgur pilaf with freekeh, green beans and red onions; delicious with a dollop of yoghurt on top.

Bulgur pilaf with freekeh, green beans and red onions; delicious with a dollop of yoghurt on top.

Runner beans, green beans or dwarf beans would all work well in this recipe; they are delicious combined with red onions, freekeh and bulgur. Bulgur is widely available now in supermarkets and you can find freekeh in Specialty, Turkish or Middle Eastern stores. I like to serve this wholesome pilaf with Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes on top, accompanied by a dollop of yoghurt or with refreshing Cacik dip of yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint.

I hope you enjoy this delicious, wholesome meal, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bulgur Pilaf with Freekeh, Green Beans and Red Onions
 
I hope you enjoy this delicious and wholesome bulgur with super grain freekeh or firik, combined with green beans, red onions and garlic. Runner beans, green beans or dwarf beans would all work well in this recipe; they are delicious combined with red onions, freekeh and bulgur. I like to serve this wholesome pilaf with Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes on top, accompanied by a dollop of yoghurt or with refreshing Cacik dip of yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy grains; bulgur and freekeh with vegetables
Cuisine: Vegetarian - Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 350gr/12oz/2 cups coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained
  • 225gr/8oz/ generous 1 cup firik or freekeh, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 gr/ 11 oz./ 2 cups green, runner or dwarf beans, trimmed and cut into 3 cm / 1” long pieces
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes or 3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 pints/ 5 cups of hot water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or chili flakes to serve
  • Dollop of plain yoghurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Trim the green beans and cut into 3 cm / 1” long pieces. If you are using runner beans, also slice them lengthways.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy pot and stir in the red onions and green, runner or dwarf beans. Stir and sauté gently for 2-3 minutes over medium to high heat.
  3. Pour in the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir in the garlic, rinsed bulgur and freekeh, combine all well with green beans and red onions.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and hot water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Combine well.
  5. Bring the pot to the boil. Then cover, reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  6. Turn the heat off. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen paper towel and place the lid firmly on top (the paper towel will absorb any excess moisture). Rest the pilaf for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve the bulgur pilaf with frekeeh and green beans hot with Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber sprinkled over, if you like. Refreshing Cacik Dip of diced cucumbers and dried mint with yoghurt or plain yoghurt complement this bulgur & freekeh pilaf very well.
Notes
Runner beans, green beans or dwarf beans would all work well in this recipe; they are delicious combined with red onions, freekeh and bulgur. Bulgur is widely available now in supermarkets and you can find freekeh in specialty, Turkish or Middle Eastern stores.

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