Life evolves around food in Turkey, and it all starts with breakfast. Our traditional breakfast includes fresh and dried fruit, wonderful olives, feta and cheddar cheese, eggs done in different ways, pastries and many more. We also like to have sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, as well as dried fruits and nuts with yoghurt and honey. In rural parts of Anatolia, this hearty lentil soup may well be the main event for breakfast. Although now, with the modern pace of life we mostly turn to cereal boxes during the weekdays, it is at the weekends that we indulge ourselves to a delicious brunch, Turkish style.
My sister and family have been visiting us during the Easter break, and we enjoyed one of these delicious brunch moments. Here is the part of the brunch spread we had and I wanted to share. This delicious pastry with leeks, onions and cheese (you can omit cheese if preferred) is very easy to make and the sweetness of onions and leeks really work well with a touch of heat from the red pepper flakes. I like to add some grated mozzarella cheese to the mixture; for a stronger flavor you may enjoy adding strong cheddar cheese or some grated parmesan. I used ready rolled short crust pastry; you may also use ready puff pastry.
There are more ideas in this post for a delicious brunch or lunch. They all tempt us at home to gather around the table, slow down and enjoy a delicious bite together – I very much hope you enjoy yours too.
Serves 6 – 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
1 large or 2 medium leeks, finely sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
400gr/14oz short crust pastry *, ready rolled
125gr/4oz grated mozzarella (or a cheese of your choice)
5ml/1tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like!)
10ml/1tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
10ml/1tbsp nigella seeds
* Thawing the pastry: If the ready pastry is frozen, take it out 2 hours before using to bring it to the room temperature. If the pastry is in the fridge, it needs to stay at the room temperature for 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté leeks and onions for about 8 minutes, until they soften. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle the red pepper flakes. Mix well and set aside to cool.
Once cool, add the grated cheese to the mixture and combine well.
Place the triangle pastries in the greased baking tray. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture and sprinkle the nigella seeds over them. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
This pastry is delicious as a hot snack and goes down very well with this refreshing crumbled feta cheese with tomatoes, cucumbers and spring onion salad.
No Turkish brunch is complete without eggs, and how would you like yours? Here is the ever popular fried eggs with Turkish spicy sausages, sucuk (made of dried cured beef with garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes).
If you rather prefer a vegetarian version, here is the Turkish style delicious and healthy eggs with spinach and onion.
I hope all these inspire you to knock up something delicious for brunch next time.
MarkeTurk; Online Turkish Supermarket
I have just come across another wonderful source to get Turkish ingredients in the UK. MarkeTurk, the online Turkish Supermarket, is an excellent source to get extensive Turkish ingredients including spices, legumes, red pepper paste, dairy products, pastries, fruit and vegetable and many more.
They offer a quality and reliable service; if you place your order before 4pm you get your shopping delivered to your door step the same day at the time slot you choose.
If ordering from the US, the Turkish online store Tulumba.com offers a great variety of Turkish ingredients and food items.