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Roasted Aubergine with Tomatoes, Herbs and Cheese and Latest News

Merhaba dear All,

It gives me a great pleasure to share my dear friend Sibel Pinto’s special recipe, Roasted aubergine/eggplant with tomatoes, herbs and chees, Patlican Yelpaze. Sibel is a chef-instructor, founder of ‘Action Kashkarikas Wasteless Kitchen Mission’, anti-foodwaste activist, Gourmand Cookbooks Award winning author of ‘The Evolution of Sephardic Cuisine in Turkey.’  Sibel does a lot of very valuable work to promote Food Waste Awareness around the world, please follow her on Instagram at @chef_sibelpinto and her website, kashkarikas.com , if you like to know more about her work.

We have done an Instagram Live with Sibel a few weeks ago and she kindly demonstrated this delicious Roasted aubergine, tomatoes, herbs and cheese recipe to us. This recipe dates back to her Sephardic roots, a legacy from her grandmother Elisa’s kitchen; many thanks Sibel’cim for sharing with us.

I love the ease of this recipe and it is Mediterranean on a plate. Buffalo mozarella really works well here (our favourite) with its creamy texture. It was lovely with Turkish beyaz peynir, or feta cheese too. Marinating the aubergine generously with herbs, garlic, olive oil is important and adds such a lot of flavour. Here’s Sibel’s recipe if you like to make at home:

ROASTED AUBERGINE With TOMATOES, HERBS AND CHEESE – PATLICAN YELPAZE

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 aubergine, eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 60ml/ 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100-150 gr mozzarella cheese, cut into slices
  • 2 large tomatoes, halved and cut into thin slices (or several cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber
  • Parsley/basil (chopped roughly)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Prepare the sauce: Mix the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, mint, oregano and red pepper flakes.
  • Cut the aubergine into thin (about 1/2 cm) slices, but not all the way through, leave it attached to the stem.
  • Cover your baking dish with baking paper and place the aubergine on a baking pan.
  • Coat and brush every slice on both sides generously with the sauce.
  • Place the cheese and tomato slices between each aubergine slice.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Then uncover and cook around 10 – 15 minutes (and a bit more if your aubergine is big), until the cheese melts deliciously.
  • Once cooked, sprinkle with basil/parsley and serve warm.

Baked potato with cumin, red peppers and onions, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

Shepherd’s Salad with sumac, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, image by Sian Irvine Photography

It’s been very hot recently, we enjoyed this  delicious Roasted aubergine, Patlican Yelpaze, with Shepherd’s Salad with sumac, Baked potato with cumin, red peppers and onions and Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt by the side, it was lovely meal.

Stuffed Anatolian Flatbreads – Gozleme is at Ozlem’s Turkish Table YouTube Channel!

Stuffed Anatolian Flatbreads, Gozleme, is one of the most popular street food in Turkey and it is easy to make it at home. It is now at Ozlem’s Turkish Table YouTube channel and it’s been a big hit, here is the link if you like to have a go too:

Signed Hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table – 30 % Off until July 3rd 2020

One of the most special things about writing Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book has been witnessing how much joy it has brought to over 5,000 Turkish food lovers around the world. My sincere thanks to each and everyone for your kind feedback and writing a review on Amazon. If you have a copy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book and can kindly write a review here, we would greatly appreciate it.

Here’s the latest 5 star review on Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, with many thanks to Leah 1709:

“Passion for Turkish Cuisine: This is a wonderful book, full of excellent tips and suggestions as well as alternative ingredients and suggestions to try. You can definitely feel the love Özlem has for her homeland and the passion she has for the cuisine. This book was one of the best gifts I have received and I love trying the recipes. More people should try Turkish cuisine…. Delicious”

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is 30 % off via GBPublishing at this link, until July 3rd 2020. It is delivered worldwide, including the USA. The offer has been our way of helping out food lovers with home cooking, especially during the Covid 19 lock down. Many thanks for all your kind words and sharing your delicious creations with us.

My Best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Wholesome, Easy Turkish Food Ideas for Extraordinary Times

Merhaba Dear All,

Indeed extraordinary, uncertain times and I hope this post finds you all well. We are all doing our best, taking precautions, and making every effort to support family, friends and loved ones, in the growing rise  of Covid-19. We have been trying our best to help out especially the elderly and the vulnerable, helping with their food shopping, dropping meals to their door.

Many healthy experts say that one of the most important things we can do now is to boost our immune system with healthy eating. We are lucky as Turkish cuisine follows Mediterranean diet, based on seasonal produce, wholesome grains, legumes, flavouring naturally with olive oil, nuts, natural condiments. Just having a look at this sunny Turkish breakfast lifts my spirits and showcases how healthy Turkish food is. Please remember, there are over 100 healthy, wholesome, easy to make Turkish and Mediterranean recipes at my blog here, with free access to you all, I truly hope it inspires and brings comfort.

I have noted below a few pantry staples I always keep in hand; you can turn them into delicious, wholesome meals without breaking the bank. A dear reader, Sally, yesterday sent me a note, saying You remain by my side in troubled times with your inspirational, happy food”, which made my day. I have included recipe links from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table,  at this post, do hope they inspire you too. Please remember, times like this, we may not have an access to all the vegetables and grains but we will make the most of what we have, be creative and substitute when needed.

With this note, Happy coming Mother’s Day to all mothers celebrating, in good health and happiness; we may not be by the side of our dear mothers to protect their well being, but they will all be in our heart and thoughts; I will be drinking my mother’s favourite Turkish coffee for her across the ocean and will send a virtual hug. If you would like to gift my cookery book, signed copies of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, is now 10 % off at this link, and it is delivered worldwide.

Eat a rainbow of vegetables

All health experts say eat colourful fruit and veg to boost immune system; Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and we use a large variety of vegetables in our diet. As it is extraordinary times, please substitute with whatever veg you find in your recipes.

Special mention here for garlic; in ancient times, it was used as a medicine to treat a variety of medical conditions. it is highly nutritious, rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese, great, fantastic value ingredient to boost your immune system. Another great pantry staple also worth a mention is canned tomatoes; they are not only great value but (just like fresh, in season ones) are low in calories and packed with vitamin C and fiber. Canned tomatoes (as opposed to fresh) are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, shown to help lower the risk of heart disease and various other ilnesses. Needless to say, we use plenty of garlic and tomatoes in all form in Turkish cuisine.

Baked prawns (or any small chunks of fish) casserole with mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, peppers – Karides Guvec

Turkish style shrimp casserole with vegetables, Karides Guvec

This is a very popular one pot dish served in fish restaurants at home and combines high nutrition with great taste. You can use small chunks of fish instead of prawns (in that case, please cook the fish in the vegetable sauce for 15 minutes, before further baking with the cheese additional 10 minutes. Always check the sea food packaging for advised cooking times). Or opt out fish and shellfish for a vegetarian option. Here is my recipe link; it is also at Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, page 239.

Baked Turkish Meatballs with vegetables – Firinda Sebzeli Kofte – Great for freezing too!

A wonderful all in one pot dish to please the family – a great one for bulk cooking and freezing in portions. Again, use any veg you can get hold of; I add a can of cooked (and rinsed) chickpeas for extra nutrition and bulk it up too. If preferred, keep it vegetarian without the meatballs, and include cooked chickpeas or beans instead. Here is my recipe link, also at page 179 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table. You can serve with Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt – again, very healthy, full of gut friendly bacteria.

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

We love aubergine / eggplant or as we call it, patlican, in Turkey. This delicious recipe is from my southern Turkish roots, from Antakya- dried mint, healthy olive oil, flavours lentils and veg so beautifully here. You can prep ahead of time and once cooked, it can be kept in the fridge for a good 2-3 days. It is also vegan and gluten free. Here’s my recipe link (also at page 151 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table) . You can make another version using courgette/ zucchini, equally delicious and wholesome, with my recipe here

Power of legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils), bulgur, whole grains

Legumes, whole grains, bulgur are an important part of Turkish diet and I am a huge fan of them. They are packed with goodness, convenient and great value. At times like this, always keep dried or canned version of legumes. I also love the nutty flavour of bulgur; it is wholesome and so versatile. Here are some ideas for you to turn them into delicious, nutritious meals:

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup – Ezo Gelin Corbasi

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi

One of our favourite soups of all times; such a tasty, wholesome, fantastic value soup, so easy to make. Make a big batch as it freezes very well, here is my recipe link (also at page 47 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table).  If you like to make it gluten free, use quinoa instead of bulgur – my recipe link is here for this gluten free version

Turkish bean salad with sumac spiced onions, tomatoes, olives – Fasulye Piyazi

This traditional beans salad, Fasulye Piyazi, is a meal in itself and turns the humble beans into an exciting and vibrant salad. Canned cannelini beans would work well here. You can flavour your red onions with the tangy sumac here and add a little heat with pul biber, Turkish red pepper flakes – so good, easy and wholesome. Here is my recipe link (also at page 90 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table)

Bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses  – Kisir

Fun baking with children – try this delicious Gozleme!

With children now off school, you may enjoy making this delicious Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with fillings with them. Any veg in hand can make a filling – left over mashed potato, sauteed leeks, mushrooms, peppers.. etc. Great activity with kids, learning a new skill and very satisfying, here is my recipe link here (also at Ozlem’s Turkish Table, page 113)

Flavouring through spices, naturally

You can add so much flavour to your dishes, naturally, through spices, they have a lot of health benefits too. For instance, it is the warm, pungent cumin simply transforms hummus, when combined with tahini. You can also prepare a red pepper flakes infused olive oil and drizzle over hummus – it is a delicious, wholesome dip you can easily make at home, using a can of precooked chickpeas, my recipe is here if you like.

How about this Leafy greens with onions, peppers and pine nuts, an inspiration from my home town, Antakya? Any greens would work – kale, Swiss chard, spinach all work. A sprinkle of pul biber, Turkish red pepper flakes adds a delicious heat to this lovely recipe. You can make it a substantial meal with adding bulgur to it (and hot water). My recipe is at this link here if you’d like to give a go (also at page 153 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table)

Dried fruit and nuts

Baked dried apricots with walnuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

We consume a lot of nuts – almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and more – and dried fruit (dried apricots, figs etc) in Turkish cuisine. They are packed with nutrition, goodness and make a wholesome snack. If you’d like a healthy dessert, why not try this Baked dried apricots with walnuts; it is so easy to make, healthy and delicious. My recipe link is here (also at page 271 of Ozlem’s Turkish Table)

 

Finishing off here with my favourite drink, as well as my mother’s, Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi, more than a drink for us, as it always evokes special memories.  Even if we are away from one another, staying at our homes, love of good food and sharing connects us all and brings happy memories. The rituals of Turkish coffee, that is staying in the moment, slowing down and enjoying every sip thinking of loved ones, is very suitable for the current times. May you enjoy yours and hope it brings comfort.

My very best wishes to you all, please stay well and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Ozlem’s Turkish Table at Edinburgh Book Fest, Coming to Texas and more

Merhaba all,

Our magical Turkish Supper Club at Power’s Weybridge – next one is on Aug. 17th

It’s been a very exciting few months of teaching Turkish cookery, sharing recipes from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book at our supper clubs and planning new events. I am very excited to share with you some really exciting events coming up, including being a featured author at the world’s biggest book festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival on Aug. 24th, as well as returning to Central Market Cooking Schools in TX between November 7-10th! I am utterly delighted and can’t wait to meet Turkish food lovers in one of these events below, and I hope to see you at one of the events.

Contents Page, Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, signed copies available at this link

Also delighted to report that over 1,000 copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book reached to Turkish food lovers around the world; my sincere thanks to you all for all your support and spreading the word. My special thanks also goes to Pinar Foods UK and GB Publishing for all their valuable support.  I love hearing how folks enjoy recreating recipes from the book, and their creations. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is still available for a limited period at this link, if you’d like to get it for yourself or give a a gift.

Here are so exciting events coming up; I hope you can join us in one of these and we enjoy Turkish cuisine together.

Turkish Meze Class with Ozlem Warren

Hands On Masterclass, Sunday 22nd July, 12:00 – 3:30pm

Divertimenti Cookery School, London

Our Turkish meze class coming up on July 22nd, at Divertimenti, London

Join Ozlem Warren to recreate a scrumptious meze feast from her homeland, with recipes from her newly released cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. You will be making the much loved ‘Baba Ghanoush’ (Smoked aubergine, pepper and tomatoes with pomegranate molasses), ‘Filo Triangles with Spinach and White cheese, Beyaz Peynir – with thanks to Pinar Food UK-, ‘Muhammara’ (Red pepper paste and walnut dip), ‘Circassian Chicken in Garlic, Walnut and Coriander Sauce, ‘Poached Dried Figs in Light Syrup’ and completing the meal with ‘Rakı’, a Turkish aniseed based drink which is the traditional accompaniment to the meze spread in Turkey.

Booking at Divertimenti Cookery School at this link

Turkish Cookery Course at Amoun College, Amman – Jordan,

July 9th and 10th, 2018

I am delighted to be returning to Amman, Jordan to teach a 2 day Turkish Cookery Course on July 9th and 10th 2018.  We will be covering a feast of classic Turkish recipes during our course. My special thanks to Mrs Suhair Kilani, la Panthera for organising our course, I greatly look forward to sharing delicious Turkish cuisine with food lovers in Amman. For the details of the course and registration, please email Marketing@panhtera-jo.com to reserve your spot, as the participation is limited. I hope you can join us at this rare opportunity to learn classic Turkish recipes.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table at the International Edinburgh Book Festival!

What a true honor to be a part of this world’s biggest book festival, the International Edinburgh Book Festival, with my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, on Aug. 24th, Friday, 2.30pm – 3.15pm, with the Afternoon Tea with Ozlem Warren event. Even more special is that Ghillie Basan will be conducting the interview, I am a huge fan of her and can’t thank her enough for all her support. Do hope you can join us as we will talk about Antakya, southern Turkish cuisine, recipe tips and more! Booking at this link please, hope to see you there!

A Turkish Summer Feast Supper Club, Power’s Weybridge – Friday, Aug. 17th, 2018

Please join us for a delicious evening of Turkish food and stories from my homeland on Aug 17th, Friday evening, as of 7.30pm at Power’s Weybridge. Pistachio lamb kebabs as well as many vegetarian choices and baklava on offer, as well as my tips on recipes and stories, booking at Power’s Weybridge please – and promises to sell out again soon!

 Returning Central Market Cooking Schools, TX – USA on Nov. 7 – 10th, 2018!

Absolutely delighted to be returning to Central Market Cooking Schools on Nov 7th through 10th to teach a series of cookery classes, this time with my book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table – do hope you can join us! I lived in Austin over 5 years and tought at this wonderful cookery school as a guest chef so I am really excited to return, it will be very special classes. Registration at Central Market Cooking School opens online on 1st October, and classes likely to sell out qucikly, so please save the dates. Here are my teaching dates and venues at Central Market Cooking Schools:

Central Market Houston on Nov. 7th; Austin on Nov. 8th; Dallas on Nov 9th; San Antonio on Nov 10th.

What I have been cooking lately..

Leafy greens with onions, peppers and pine nuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book

We have been enjoying more vegetables with the sunnier weather and this Leafy greens with onions, peppers and pine nuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book (page 153),  inspired from Antakya, fits the bill perfectly. There is leafy vegetable called zilk in Antakya, similar to Swiss chard and locals use either zilk or spinach to make this recipe; you can use kale instead too. Bulgur or lentils are often added to make it more substantial. In my version, I included sweet, red bell peppers and pine nuts instead of bulgur. Adding a splash of fresh lemon juice or a little heat from red pepper flakes, you can serve this warm or cold, as in our Zeytinyaglis, Vegetables cooked in olive oil. Here’s also the link for my recipe in my blog.

Scrumptious Turkish bean salad with onions, olives, eggs

We love this tasty, easy and nourishing Turkish bean salad with olives and eggs, Fasulye Piyazi. It is the traditional accompaniment to Turkish meatballs, our kofte, but I love it as it is for lunch or as a light supper with pide bread and some hummus. It is also vegan and gluten-free so caters for a wide range of dietary needs. This lovely salad is on page 90 at the Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, if you have it. Here’s also the link to my recipe in my blog.

One of the happy Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book owner, posting this lovely photo

“Thank you so much for producing this wonderful book; I spent many happy holidays in Turkey and I love Turkish cuisine. It’s a joy to be able to recreate the dishes with your recipes and share with my family – your book is a treasure and I love my signed copy! This was a recent feedback from the Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book owner. I hoped my book would inspire folks to enjoy Turkish cuisine and bring happy memories of their visit to Turkey, so these kind feedback means the world to me. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is still available for a limited period at this link, if you’d like to get a copy.

Many thanks and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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