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Tag Archives | Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Chard Cooked in Olive Oil with Veg and Rice; Zeytinyağlı Pazı

Merhaba dear All,

I wanted to share one of my favourite recipes from my new book, SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen.  This Chard Cooked in Olive Oil with Onion, Peppers and RiceZeytinyağlı Pazı, is a lovely and easy dish to enjoy pazı (chard), grown mostly in the northwest, Black Sea, Marmara, Aegean and the Mediterranean regions. Its gently tart flavour is delicious here. These large leaves are also used for making pazı sarması, rolled chard leaves with aromatic rice and sometimes with fresh Turkish curd cheese (lor peyniri). My family also loves this dish hot on cold days, with a dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over.

Prepare ahead and variations: This dish is great to prepare ahead – in fact, leftovers taste even better the next day as the flavours develop, a characteristic of zeytinyağlı dishes. You can use spinach or large leafy collard greens instead of chard. You can also use bulgur (not gluten-free) or quinoa (gluten-free) instead of rice.

Serving suggestions: Serve crusty bread or my gluten-free Corn Bread from SEBZE cookery book on the side to mop up the delicious juices, if you like. You can order a copy of SEBZE worldwide here.

Afiyet olsun and my sincere thanks for your support,

Ozlem xx

Chard Cooked in Olive Oil with Veg and Rice; Zeytinyağlı Pazı
 
This is a lovely and easy dish to enjoy pazı (chard), grown mostly in the northwest, Black Sea, Marmara, Aegean and the Mediterranean regions. Its gently tart flavour is delicious here. These large leaves are also used for making pazı sarması, rolled chard leaves with aromatic rice and sometimes with fresh Turkish curd cheese (lor peyniri). My family also loves this dish hot on cold days, with a dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over. Prepare ahead and variations: This dish is great to prepare ahead – in fact, leftovers taste even better the next day as the flavours develop, a characteristic of zeytinyağlı dishes. You can use spinach or large leafy collard greens instead of chard. You can also use bulgur (not gluten-free) or quinoa (gluten-free) instead of rice. Serving suggestions: Serve crusty bread or my gluten-free Corn Bread from SEBZE cookery book on the side to mop up the delicious juices, if you like.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian recipes
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (use more if you like it spicy)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon double concentrated tomato paste
  • 230 g (8 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 450g (1 lb) chard, cleaned, halved lengthways and roughly chopped into 1 cm (½ in) pieces
  • 85 g (3 oz/scant ½ cup) long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 460 ml (16 fl oz/scant 2 cups) hot water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • To serve (optional)
  • plain yoghurt (or plant-based alternative)
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide saucepan over a medium–high heat, add the onion and sauté for 3–4 minutes until starting to soften. Add the chilli, garlic, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes to the pan (save the tin for later), combine well and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped chard and gently combine and wilt over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the rinsed rice and combine well.
  2. Rinse the chopped tomato tin with some of the hot water and pour all the liquid into the pan, season with salt and pepper, give it a good stir, then cover and cook for 20–25 minutes over a low–medium heat until the rice and vegetables are cooked. Turn the heat off and leave to rest for 10 minutes, covered.
  3. When the weather is warm, we traditionally eat this dish cold or at room temperature. On cold days, we enjoy it hot with a dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over.
 

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Turkish style rice pilaf with orzo or vermicelli – Sehriyeli Pirinc Pilavı

Pilaf, or pilav as we call, is an important dish for us, Turks. It accompanies almost every Turkish meal, including our casseroles, meatballs. The iconic Turkish bean stew, kuru fasulye is always served with pilav, the combination referred as “kuru fasulye – pilav”. Combined with chickpeas, Nohutlu Pilav is another delicious variation and a much loved street food- a meal in itself with pickles, tursu aside.

Turks are passionate about making pilav. Proper Turkish pilav needs to be grainy, “tane tane pilav” as we say, and mastering to make it properly is a real test, traditionally, for a Turkish lady before marriage. Rinsing then soaking the rice in warm water is an important stage, as it helps to get rid of excess starch and make the rice grainy. We also use either chopped vermicelli like tel sehriye or orzo like arpa sehriye which is sautéed in our rice, which adds additional texture and flavour.  Short grain baldo rice is the preferred choice in Turkiye, though I prefer the more widely available long grain rice. Make sure to let your rice rest for 10 minutes, covered with sturdy paper towel and lid, before serving – paper towel will absorb any excess moisture and make your rice grainy, “tane tane.”

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Turkish style rice pilaf with orzo or vermicelli – Sehriyeli Pirinc Pilavı
 
Pilaf, or pilav as we call, is an important dish for us, Turks. It accompanies almost every Turkish meal, including our casseroles, meatballs. The iconic Turkish bean stew, kuru fasulye is always served with pilav, the combination referred as “kuru fasulye - pilav”. Combined with chickpeas, Nohutlu Pilav is another delicious variation and a much loved street food- a meal in itself with pickles, tursu aside. Turks are passionate about making pilav. Proper Turkish pilav needs to be grainy, “tane tane pilav” as we say, and mastering to make it properly is a real test, traditionally, for a Turkish lady before marriage. Rinsing then soaking the rice in warm water is an important stage, as it helps to get rid of excess starch and make the rice grainy. We also use either chopped vermicelli like tel sehriye or orzo like arpa sehriye which is sautéed in our rice, which adds additional texture and flavour. Short grain baldo rice is the preferred choice in Turkiye, though I prefer the more widely available long grain rice. Make sure to let your rice rest for 10 minutes, covered with sturdy paper towel and lid, before serving – paper towel will absorb any excess moisture and make your rice grainy, “tane tane.” Afiyet Olsun.
Author:
Recipe type: Pilaf, vegetarian, vegan
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Ingredients
  • 200g long grain rice
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3tbsp orzo (or tel sehriye, chopped vermicelli)
  • 420ml hot water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under running warm water, until the water runs clear. Then place the rice in a bowl and cover with warm water with a pinch of salt and set aside for 15 minutes – this will help get rid of the excess starch.
  2. Pour in the olive oil in a medium size pot and stir in the orzo or tel sehriye, vermicelli, sauté over medium to high heat for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to turn dark golden. Drain the excess water in the rice bowl using a strainer and stir the rice into the pot. Stir and combine for 1 – 1 ½ minutes, so that the rice grains coat with the oil too.
  3. Stir in hot water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine. Cover, bring the pot to the boil, and then turn the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered; during this cooking time, do not stir the rice. Turn the heat off once the rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Now place 2 sturdy paper towels or clean tea towel over the pot and put the lid back on to seal, and leave to rest for 12-15 minutes. The paper towels will absorb any excess moisture and make your rice grainy, “tane tane pilav”, as we say in Turkish. Fluff the rice with a fork, check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper to your paste and serve. We love pilav rice with pickles, tursu and a dollop of yoghurt aside, as well as along with casseroles.
 

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Baked pasta with courgettes, cheese and béchamel – Kabaklı peynirli fırın makarna

This is a delicious, easy, comforting pasta bake that you can prepare ahead. Dried mint adds a refreshing touch; I used medium cheddar, though you can use any melting cheese you like – I love grated halloumi here too. I try to squeeze in vegetables into my pasta bakes and bountiful courgettes work well here; feel free to use other vegetables in hand too.

Serve this delicious pata bake with a refreshing salad. Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, for instance would be a wonderful match served aside.  Please kindly note that this pasta bake is not included in my cookery book. Afiyet Olsun.

Baked pasta with courgettes, cheese and béchamel – Kabaklı peynirli fırın makarna
 
This is a delicious, easy, comforting pasta bake that you can prepare ahead. Dried mint adds a refreshing touch; I used medium cheddar, though you can use any melting cheese you like – I love grated halloumi here too. I try to squeeze in vegetables into my pasta bakes and bountiful courgettes work well here; feel free to use other vegetables in hand too.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian pasta bake
Cuisine: Turkish / Mediterranean
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 medium courgettes, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 450g penne (or pasta or your choice)
  • 110g grated mild cheddar (to sprinkle on top)
  • For the white sauce:
  • 480ml warm milk (I prefer whole milk)
  • 110g grated medium cheddar
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp plain flour
Instructions
  1. Place grated courgettes in a bowl, sprinkle salt over top and leave to drain for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out the excess moisture, leave a side.
  2. Pour olive oil in a wide pan, stir in the courgettes and garlic; sauté over medium to high heat for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add dried mint, combine well and set aside to cool.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente (as suggested on its package), drain, and place on a large mixing bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil and combine so it won’t stick. Set aside.
  4. Preheat fan oven to 180C/350F.
  5. Make the white sauce by melting the butter in a medium sized pan, on a low to medium heat. Add the flour and beat well. Slowly add the warm milk whisking continuously to get a smooth consistency and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the sautéed courgettes and cheese and combine well. Turn the heat off.
  6. Combine the sauce with the cooked pasta in the large bowl, mix well. Place and spread the mixture in a 30x25cm baking dish. Sprinkle 110g grated cheese over and bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes, until it is golden on top.
  7. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with a refreshing salad. Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, for instance would be a wonderful match served aside. Please kindly note that this pasta bake is not included in my cookery book. Afiyet Olsun.
 

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