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My new cookbook, SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen – on Pre-order Now!

My new cookery book, SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen, is now available to pre-order worldwide Here!

Gorgeous cover design by Nic and Lou

My heart bursts with joy to announce that after over 2 years of work (and many years of dreaming about it), my new cookery book, SEBZE, Vegetarian Recipes from My Turkish Kitchen, will be published by Hardie Grant Publishing on April 9th in the USA, April 11th in the UK (& in Türkiye via Amazon Turkiye), April 5th in Australia. SEBZE is now available to pre-order HERE!

SEBZE, meaning “vegetables” in Turkish, is a celebration of vegetarian Turkish cuisine, with 85 practical and delicious vegetarian recipes (including scrumptious desserts) from the heart of my homeland, Türkiye (Turkey) along with stunning food and location photography by the very talented Sam A Harris, my stories and tips as a cookery teacher. SEBZE is now on pre-order worldwide, order link here (the link will take you to the relevant website to your location, for ordering). Pre-orders are very important for the success of a cookery book, hence I would be very grateful to your kind order.

Antalya style bean salad with tahini sauce, Tahinli piyaz from SEBZE  Photo by Sam A Harris

I have long wanted to write SEBZE, to showcase the many different ways we enjoy seasonal vegetables, legumes and whole grains in my homeland, as living abroad over 20 years, I’ve seen how Turkish cuisine is mostly associated with kebabs. I believe the recipes in SEBZE will not only please vegetarians, but anyone, like me, who would like fresh and achievable vegetable-centered ideas to include in their cooking. I hope the readers will embark on a culinary journey to my homeland, to discover our delightful, practical,  vegetarian recipes, along with scrumptious sweetsI am delighted to share a few taster images from SEBZE with you here.

What to expect in SEBZE? Showcasing diverse culinary heritage and warm spirit of Turkish culture, expect to indulge in popular Turkish classics, along with lesser-known regional specialties, from gözleme to mezes, street food (yes, simit!), All day breakfast, hearty casseroles, boreks, pickles, pilafs, vibrant salads, wholesome soups, healthy vegetables cooked in olive oil (Zeytinyağlı) and so much more. You will be glad to know there are scrumptious cookies, cakes and desserts in SEBZE too, from the milk-based Fırın Sütlaç to the luscious Pumpkin and walnut baklava, my take on the much loved classic, fruit based treats and many more. Recipes that are easy, flexible, good value, seasonal and sustainable – not to mention utterly delicious.

Çılbır, Turkish style poached eggs with garlicky yoghurt from SEBZE, image credit Sam A Harris

I tried to offer recipes that complement one another in SEBZE; most recipes include prep ahead tips, freezing options and variations for gluten-free and plant-based diets. Turkish cuisine is a no waste kitchen, so there are ideas for leftovers such as Baked bread with egg and vegetables; Fırında Yumurtalı, Sebzeli Ekmek, Easy, herby pan börek; Otlu tava böreği and many more. The recipes are both with metric and imperial measurements. Whether you are vegetarian or simply looking for fresh, vegetable-, grains- and pulses-centered ideas to include in your diet, there will be something for you in SEBZE.

Zeytinyağlı biber dolması, stuffed peppers with aromatic rice from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

I am also very excited to share some lesser known regional specialties such as this show stopper Tray bake Mantı with spiced chickpeas, Nohutlu Tepsi Mantı in SEBZE. You would be glad to know it is easy to make and can be prepared ahead too.

Tray bake Mantı with spiced chickpeas, Nohutlu Tepsi Mantı from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

How about this scrumptious Baked aubergines, courgettes, peppers with tomato sauce; Turkish Şakşuka with Home made pul biber and oregano chips? They are huge part of my childhood, accompanied by my mother’s Muhammara, all in SEBZE.

Turkish Saksuka with pul biber and oregano chips, from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

Tray bake börek with onions, potato, mineral water, Patatesli sodalı börek from SEBZE – Image credit to Sam A Harris

There are so many talented, kind folks helped made SEBZE happen. I can’t thank enough to my literary agent Milly Reilly, the Hardie Grant Publishing team for all their support. Huge thanks to the photographer extraordionaire Sam Harris  who not only shot Sebze in London along with the amazing team and food stylist Esther Clark, but he also travelled to Turkiye with me for our location shoots in Istanbul and Antakya – at the beautiful Meric Ciftligi, with my family, aunties, and uncles, which were so special to me. I am so grateful for these amazing shoots, showcasing my homeland and heritage. My very sincere thanks also to Diana Henry for her most kind words on the cover, along with Sabrina Ghayour, Joe Woodhouse, Jenny Linford, Ghillie Basan, Rosemary Gill for their generous quotes for SEBZE and everyone so kind to support this special book.

Ozlem at Meric Ciftligi – Altinouzu, Antakya, from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

Fıstıklı Un Kurabiyesi, Turkish shortbread cookies with pistachio from SEBZE. Image credit Sam A Harris

It’s been an absolute privilege to write SEBZE and my heart bursts with pride. If you are keen to get a copy and if you can pre-order here, I would greatly appreciate it, as pre-orders help so much to a new book (amazon takes the payment for pre-orders when it is dispatched). My huge, sincere thanks, çok teşekkür ederim – can’t wait for you to meet SEBZE !

SEBZE, Vegetarian recipes from my Turkish kitchen, available to pre-order HERE

Afiyet Olsun,

Özlem

 

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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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Coiled filo pie with zucchini (courgette), cheese and dill – Kol Boregi

I am delighted to share this delicious Coiled / Swirl filo pie with zucchini, dill, cheese and onions, Kol Boregi, as we call in Turkish; it has been a huge hit at my online cookery classes recently. We really enjoyed this filling; there is a lovely natural sweetness from the zucchini and onions with the saltiness from Turkish beyaz peynir (I love Pinar Foods UK’s creamy beyaz peynir) or feta cheese, that works with dill so well.  You can also use spinach, sautéed leeks, kale, Swiss chard instead of zucchini/courgettes.

The trick with filo pastry sheets is that they need to be kept under slightly damp towel so they won’t dry out. Take only one sheet at a time to make the coiled shape for this recipe. I have used Jus Roll filo pastry sheets and they worked well.

The milk, egg and olive oil mixture works like a magic to keep the pastry intact while rolling. If the pastry breaks, please don’t worry, you can patch up brushing with the milk, egg and olive oil mixture. Once baked and cooled, you can cut this pastry in portions and freeze in a sealed bag (in one layer). You can also bake it ahead of time and give a gentle reheat at 180C/350F for about 8 minutes.

 

I love our savoury pastries and boreks in Turkish cuisine; tray bakes, filo triangles, pogacas, Pide, Flatbreads with zaatar and cheese topping and more included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies available at this link and delivered worldwide.

If you live in the US, Canada or Mexico, you can order hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table here for lower shipping rates.  Please kindly note that this Coiled filo pie, Kol Boregi is a new recipe and not included at my current cookery book.

I hope you enjoy this delicious Coiled filo pie, Kol boregi, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Coiled filo pie with zucchini (courgette), cheese and dill – Kol Boregi
 
I hope you enjoy this moreish Coiled / Swirl filo pie with zucchini, dill, cheese and onions, Kol Boregi, as we call in Turkish. We really enjoyed this filling; there is a lovely natural sweetness from the zucchini and onions with the saltiness from Turkish beyaz peynir (or feta cheese) that works will dill so well. You can also use spinach, sautéed leeks, kale, Swiss chard instead of zucchini. The trick with filo pastry sheets is that they need to be kept under slightly damp towel so they won’t dry out. Take only one sheet at a time to make the coiled shape for this recipe. I have used Jus Roll filo pastry sheets and they worked well.
Author:
Recipe type: Savoury pastry, borek
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 7 Filo pastry sheets (270g - 480mm x 255mm), thawed (I used a packet of Jus Roll filo sheets, they work well)
  • For the filling:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium to large zucchini/courgettes (485g/1lb 1oz), trimmed and grated
  • 1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 200g/7 oz Turkish beyaz peynir or feta cheese, juice drained and crumbled
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil (to sauté the onions)
  • 5ml/1tsp pul biber
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the egg, milk and olive oil sauce:
  • 30ml/ 1fl oz milk
  • 1 free range medium egg, beaten
  • 15ml/1tbsp olive oil
  • For the topping of the coiled/swirl pie:
  • 1 free range medium egg, beaten
  • 10ml/2tsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. For the filling, place the grated courgette (zucchini) in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Using a clean tea towel or sturdy couple of sheets of kitchen paper towel, squeeze out the excess juice (this is an important step, otherwise this excess juice would make the pastry soggy). Place the squeezed zucchini/courgette in a large bowl.
  2. Pour in the 2 tbsp olive oil on wide heavy pan and stir in the chopped onions; gently sauté for 8 minutes, until they soften. Stir in the grated zucchini/courgette, combine and sauté for another 4 minutes, season with salt and ground black pepper. Turn the heat off.
  3. Place the sautéed onions and courgettes in the large mixing bowl. Stir in the crumbled cheese, dill, season (you may not need additional salt, as feta/beyaz peynir is already salty) and pul biber. Combine all ingredients well and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. The filling is ready.
  4. Preheat fan oven to 180C/200C/400F.. Line a round baking dish (with 25cm/10in diameter) with baking paper.
  5. Combine the milk, beaten egg and olive oil for the sauce in a small bowl. .For the topping, mix the beaten egg and olive oil in a small bowl
  6. Open your thawed filo pastry sheets and gently lay them on a dry, clean surface and cover with a damp towel. To coil the filo, the pastry needs to be kept moist. Only take one sheet at time and keep the rest covered.
  7. Take 2 filo sheets and lay on top of another lengthways on a clean, dry surface. Brush the top sheet with he milk, egg and olive oil mixture. Place about 145g/5oz filling in a line, along the edge near you, leaving 2cm at each end filling free. Gently roll up into a cylinder. Brush the edge with the milk, egg, olive oil mixture. Starting from one end, wind the filo into a coil and put on the baking dish with the baking paper on. Brush over and sides of the coiled pastry with the egg, milk and olive oil mixture (this also helps to patch up any broken pastry).
  8. Repeat the same procedure with the next 4 filo pastry sheets, using 2 sheets at a time .Coil each filo cylinder around the previous one to make a larger spiral. Make sure to brush the top and sides of the coiled pastry with the egg, milk and olive oil mixture.
  9. Fold the last remaining sheet, lengthways and brush the sheet with the egg, milk and olive oil mixture. Place the remaining filling (about 85g/3oz) in a line along the edge near you. Roll up again into a cylinder and coil around the previous one to complete the spiral. Brush the top and sides of the coiled pastry with the egg, milk and olive oil mixture and patch up any broken pastry.
  10. Brush the top and visible edges of the pie the beaten egg and olive oil all over, and then sprinkle the sesame seeds.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and cooked through. Let it slightly cool for 5 minutes. Slice in wedges. You serve with Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses, Kisir, aside if you like.

 

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