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Tag Archives | Kalkan

Delicious, Sun kissed Inspirations from Kalkan; Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic and tomatoes, in olive oil

We have had some wonderful food while in Kalkan at the south coast of Turkey, featuring region’s sun kissed fresh produce; tomatoes have been at their peak, and the peppers tasted out of this world – no need to mention the region’s divine olive oil; I could dip my bread to it all day!

Sun kissed south coast of Turkey is always so inviting

We had this simple yet very delicious pasta at the Villa Mahal’s café, and I recreated at home in England; it is packed with goodness and so easy too, ready within 30 minutes. The sweetness of tomatoes and peppers work so well with the chili pepper and tangy lemon juice- a handful of capers also work really well in this sauce.  Even though it wasn’t Kalkan’s lovingly grown tomatoes, still tasted wonderful, with children asking for another serving; sunshine on a plate.

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic in olive oil, so delicious

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic, tomatoes in olive oil, so delicious

For the ultimate Turkish experience, you can serve the pasta with Ayran, refreshing Turkish drink with yoghurt or Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt by the side. The tangy and hard Turkish kasar cheese goes very well, grated over the pasta; if you can’t get kasar, you can replace it with a tangy cheddar or Pecorino Romano.

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

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and aimed to showcase this wonderful cuisine with stories from my homeland at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. It has over 90 authentic Turkish recipes and regional specialties from my hometown, Antakya. Signed copies are available to order at this link, for a limited period, if you’d like to get a copy.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes                     Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

500gr pasta (spaghetti or penne works well) – or enough for 4 –

Red, orange, yellow (or green) pointy or bell peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

1-2 chili peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped – please keep all the wonderful juice!-

Juice of ½ lemon

5ml/1 tsp. brown sugar

60ml/3 tbsp. olive oil

10ml/2 tsp. oregano

5ml/1 tsp. red pepper flakes – optional-

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Grated hard and tangy Turkish kasar  (tangy cheddar) or  Pecorino Romano to serve

Ripe tomatoes, juicy peppers, garlic; fresh ingredients for a healthy, delicious sauce

Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and stir in the peppers, chili pepper and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and combine well. Stir in the lemon juice, brown sugar and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and ground black pepper, mix well.  Leave to cook on a moderate heat for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, stir in the oregano to the sauce and check the seasoning.

Tomatoes, peppers, chili and the garlic work so well together

Boil the water for the pasta in a separate heavy pan, while the sauce is cooking. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until a minute before it is al dente (please refer to the cooking time on the pasta’s packaging). Drain the water and set aside the pasta in the colander.

Stir in the pasta to the pan where the sauce is cooked; make sure to coat all the pasta with the sauce (if you like, you can drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the pasta).

Make sure to stir in the cooked pasta to the pan you cooked the sauce in, to mop up all the juices

Serve hot with grated tangy kasar (cheddar) or  pecorino cheese over the pasta. Steamed vegetables or cacik dip complement the pasta well; ayran drink would be a refreshing accompaniment to the pasta too.

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Afiyet Olsun!



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Glorious South Coast of Turkey – Kalkan, Fethiye, Oludeniz and more- & Its Wonderful People

Turquoise Med amongst olive trees; ever so inviting.

Have you ever been to the south coast of Turkey? Being a native of Turkey, I have spent many happy childhood holidays at the west and south coast of  Turkey – beautiful turquoise sea, sun kissed sandy beaches, watermelon (favorite childhood fruit!) and delicious food to indulge; always looked forward to the holidays.

Lovely view and local plants from our friendly hotel, Ekinhan, Kalkan.

During the last 15 years or so, we have been a regular to the south coast of Turkey; Fethiye, Oludeniz, Kalkan, Marmaris and many more wonderful locations. The ever so inviting Mediterranean, olive trees, wonderful food and its people never disappointed us; always energizing, always inspiring and relaxing. Please check out the wonderful blog on Fethiye and surroundings, Turkey’s For Life ; I am sure you will be inspired by these amazing locations.

Fisherman and boats getting ready for the daily catch in Kalkan

We have been going back to Kalkan during the last 8 years, on and off. Apart from its quaint village and wonderful bays, it is the local, friendly people drawn us to this wonderful part of the world.

The quaint village of Kalkan, getting ready for the day

Wonderful pottery, locally made in Kalkan and Fethiye region.

Kalkan also have a vibrant, inspiring art scene; wonderful art galleries, artisan local pottery shops all so worth stopping by. I loved reading Turkish Travel Blog’s Kalkan – Inspiration on my solo holiday– do please check out her post on the art scene and inspirations Kalkan provided to many.

How about its people? I think wherever you go, it is the people, the locals you come across that make the difference. We have been lucky enough to meet and make friends with wonderful locals at the region – and always so nice to find them again there next time we visit!

Take our friend Coskun. He is a native of Kalkan, born and bred, has been in tourism industry for years already. He studies Tourism at University in Antalya, has worked in many different resorts so far. But it is in Kalkan he feels he is happier and belongs to. Always so friendly, can’t do enough for you kind of person, always with a smile – we do hope to see him next time we are there:)!

How about dear Buket? Another lovely local from Fethiye, with a big heart and smile.  Buket is not only a wonderful complementary therapist  but a very talented painter – another tribute to the art scene of the region-  Her optimism, zest for life is infectious.

One of Buket's lovely paintings, what a wonderful sunflower, isn't it?

And we do love the food in the region; surrounded by the wonderful olive trees, you are spoilt with the delicious olive oil, freshest fruit and vegetables. Here are a few samples of what we enjoyed;

Greek salad with a twist; using Turkish white cheese and olive oil this time.


Turkish flat bread with cheese and tomato; our regular lunch in Kalkan, so delicious.

The pide is baked freshly there in front of you with various toppings, so delicious and you can easily recreate at your home.  Here is my version of this delicious flat bread with cheese and tomato and various toppings, do hope you can have a go sometime.

My version of flatbreads with cheese&tomato, cheese&spinach and ground meat fillings

I wanted this post a little heartfelt tribute to the wonderful south coast of Turkey that has always called us back and filled us with inspirations and happiness. I truly hope you can make it there sometime – if so, please have a dive in to the turquoise Mediterranean for me too: )

Happy travels to you all!


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Baked Sea Bass with Vegetables in Olive Oil and Lemon Sauce; Sebzeli Levrek Pilaki

I had the pleasure  of meeting  Mr Sureyya Uzmez, the food writer and owner of Ankara’s Trilye Fish Restaurant; undoubtedly one of the best fish restaurants in Turkey. I greatly admired Sureyya Bey’s (Mr Sureyya’s) passion for seafood and efforts to source the freshest possible fish and shellfish at home, and preparing them in a way to bring the best out of them. This is also the essence of Turkish cooking; we aim to bring out the freshness, the actual flavor of the produce, rather than hiding it behind sauces.  I very much look forward to the Trilye experience in Ankara, and I hope you can too.

Trilye Restaurant’s Mr Sureyya Uzmez and myself at Covent Garden, London, before our interview

My dear cousin, Ahmet Sabuncu is an accomplished photographer (please check out Ahmet’s award winning pinhole photography) and a TV producer for TRT (Turkish Radio and Television). Teaming up with Mr Uzmez and the wonderful Sofra Restaurant’s ambassador of Turkish food, Mr Huseyin Ozer, they have been shooting a TV program in London about how Turkish and British cuisines have been shaped throughout the history, the ethnic influences that has contributed to Turkish and other food cultures. They kindly included an interview with me for the program, which is planned to go on air in Turkey – very exciting! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience – my sincere thanks to them.  I will keep you posted on the air time of the program 🙂

Southeast coast of Turkey, bountiful with fish, just as at the Agean and Black Sea

Regarded as a symbol of fertility, fish is very much enjoyed at home, especially at the coastal regions. Turkey is bounded by the sea on three sides – the Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea. With the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and Dardanelles at northwest, Turkey has over 7,000km (4,350 miles) of coastline. The plentiful fishing waters provide daily catches of bluefish, red and grey mullet, swordfish, sea bass, tuna, bonito, turbot, plaice, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and many more. In most of the coastal regions, fish is bought very fresh, straight off the boats at the daily fish market, still swimming around in the buckets or beautifully arranged on ice.

One of the many fisherman by the Bosphorus, Istanbul, getting ready for his daily catch

Inspired by Sureyya Bey’s passion for seafood, I adapted one of the recipes at Trilye’s wonderful book “Trilye’s Passion for Sea Food” (Trilye’nin Balik Sevdasi). This delicious baked sea bass makes a complete meal with all the fresh vegetables in it, and so easy to make. I poached the sea bass and the vegetables in olive oil, lemon juice and a little water, just as the same way we cook ‘Vegetables cooked in olive oil’, Zeytinyaglis. This delicious and healthy way of cooking retains all the wonderful juices of the fish and vegetables. The result has been a refreshing, utterly delicious supper that disappeared very quickly.


This wonderful recipe and over 90 authentic, delicious Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. 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

Baked Sea bass with vegetables in olive oil

Baked Sea bass with vegetables in olive oil

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                               Cooking time:  about 35-40 minutes*

4 fillets of sea bass – or any fresh white fish-

1 onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped coarsely

1 small green (bell or pointy) pepper, quartered and sliced thinly

1 small yellow (bell or pointy) pepper, quartered and sliced thinly

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely sliced

2-3 medium potatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 bay leaves

8fl oz/1 cup water (or fish stock)

45ml/3 tbsp olive oil

5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes – optional

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped – to decorate

Lemon wedges to serve

* Please check the recommended cooking time for the fish of your choice on the packaging.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F

Stir in all the prepared vegetables and the bay leaves in a baking dish. Coat them with the olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if used).

Coat the vegetables with olive oil, seasoning and red pepper flakes; they complement the fish beautifully

Coat the fish fillets with 1 tbsp of olive oil and place them amongst the vegetables. Mix the lemon juice with water or fish stock and spoon this liquid all around the fish and vegetables. Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the fish and vegetables are cooked. Once cooked, take the foil out and sprinkle chopped parsley over the fish. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon by the side.

Sea bass baked with vegetables in olive oil; a delicious all in one dish.

Sea bass baked with vegetables in olive oil; a delicious all in one dish.

For a light and delicious finish, you may serve the Baked Apricots with Walnuts as a dessert.

Afiyet Olsun (May you be healthy and happy with the food you eat);


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