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Tag Archives | walnuts

Gavurdagi Salad Variation with watercress, pomegranates, walnuts

Gavurdagi Salad Variation with pomegranates, watercress and walnuts – image credit; jennychef.com

There is one tomato salad that you often come across wherever you are in Turkey; Gavurdagi Salad. Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad is from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. Gavurdagi Salad won’t typically have walnuts in it but I love the marriage of sweet and juicy tomatoes with the crunchy walnuts in my version here. The sweet and sour pomegranate molasses dressing, Nar Eksisi really complements this salad too. Here’s my recipe to if you like to make pomegranate molasses, Nar Eksisi, at home.

We made this wonderful salad at my Turkish cookery class on Dec. 14th with more variation; I added watercress and pomegranate seeds to my salad for extra freshness and texture. It really worked well and everyone greatly enjoyed it! My sincere thanks to dear Jenny for the salad image here from our Turkish cookery class. Jenny also happens to be a passionate cook and cookery teacher, please check her blog JennyChef !

Gavurdagi salad is an important part of the meze spread at kebab houses in Turkey, served with the delicious Turkish pide bread, butter and the crumbly Turkish white cheese.  You can also enjoy this delicious and easy salad as a starter or accompaniment to grills, kebabs like my home made Iskender Kebab and casseroles.

My very best wishes to you all for the Festive Season and New Year, in good health and happiness. Saglikli, Mutlu bir Yeni Yil Dilegiyle,

Ozlem

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gavurdagi Salad Variation with watercress, pomegranates, walnuts
 
Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad originates from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. This time, I made a variation of this wonderful salad and I added watercress walnuts and pomegranate seeds for extra freshness and texture, worked really well. You can enjoy this delicious and easy salad as a starter or accompaniment to grills, kebabs like my home made Iskender Kebab and casseroles.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Salads
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200 gr watercress
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 50gr/2oz/1/3 cup walnuts, crushed – about pea size each –
  • 15ml/1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 30ml/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5ml/1 tsp sumac – optional-
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ pomegranate seeds to serve
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, rub the chopped onions with the spices and seasoning; salt, sumac, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper – that will soften the onion and enable the spices to blend in well.
  2. Add the tomatoes, parsley and walnuts to the onions.
  3. Then stir in the pomegranate molasses and the extra virgin olive oil and give them a good (but gentle) mix.
  4. Stir in the watercress and combine well.
  5. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the salad and serve.
  6. Afiyet olsun.

29th January 2017 Turkish Cookery Class -a wonderful foodie gift

Lahmacun, popular Turkish thin pizza with ground meat and vegetables topping, will be at our Jan. 29th class

Lahmacun, popular Turkish thin pizza with ground meat and vegetables topping, will be at our Jan. 29th class

Leeks, carrots, onions and rice cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Pirasa

Leeks, carrots, onions and rice cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Pirasa, is at our Jan. 29th class.

Get 2017 off to a healthy and wholesome start with my  selection of Turkish supper dishes from my homeland at our Turkish cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School on Sunday, January 29th, 12 pm – 3.30 pm. Packed full of flavor and easily reproduced at home without having to spend hours at your cooker, you will be surprised at the simplicity of such stunning dishes. During the class you will also be joined by the Turkish coffee expert, Ozerlat Coffee, who will carefully demonstrate all the rituals behind Turkish coffee making whilst offering you plenty of opportunity for tastings. Menu will include ‘Mercimek Corbasi’ (Lentil soup with cumin and red pepper flakes), ‘Zeytinyagli Pirasa’ (Leeks and carrots with olive oil, rice and lemon), ‘Lahmacun’ (Turkish thin pizza with minced meat and vegetables), ‘Cezerye’ (Caramelised carrot delight with walnutsTurkish Coffee and Turkish Delight.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

Turkish coffee, rituals and how to make it will be presented by Ozerlat Coffee at our Jan. 29th class

The classes may also make a wonderful gift for the festive season and New Year. You can view the class details and book through Divertimenti Cookery School at this link, hope you can join us!

 

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Homemade Cezerye; Caramalised Carrot Paste Delight with Nuts

Cezerye; Caramalised carrot paste with nuts

Cezerye; Caramalised carrot paste with nuts

Have you ever tried the delicious Cezerye dessert? A specialty from Mersin region at southern Turkey, Cezerye is a delicious confectionery made of carrots, nuts and sugar, coated with desiccated coconut flakes. They are utterly delicious, healthy and also known to be an aphrodisiac.

Spread the cooked carrot & nut paste evenly and tightly, making sure they stay intact.

Spread the cooked carrot & nut paste evenly and tightly, making sure they stay intact.

With my roots going back to southern Turkey, Antakya, I grew up sampling the very best Cezerye from the nearby Mersin region. Such a delicious and healthy snack, it was always available whenever we wanted some for a treat, therefore I haven’t really thought of making them when I was home. But living  abroad and not having an access to these scrumptious treats  make you brave enough to have a go at them, like making homemade Turkish Delights. I am delighted to report you that compared to making Turkish Delights, Cezerye is so much easier to make, lighter and equally delicious. They are traditionally made with hazelnuts; I used walnuts for my Cezerye recipe and they were delicious. My children absolutely loved them!

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine, and wholesome desserts like this Cezerye; over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies are available at this link, if interested, and delivered worldwide.

Cezerye; delicious carrot paste with walnuts from Mersin, Turkey.

Cezerye; delicious carrot paste with walnuts from Mersin, Turkey.

Carrots have never been sweeter; hope you can have a go and treat yourself, family and friends with these delicious carrot delights. Cezerye keeps well in an air tight container for a week.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

 

5.0 from 7 reviews
Homemade Cezerye; Caramalised Carrot Paste Delight with Nuts
 
A delicious and healthy caramalised carrot paste & walnuts dessert from Mersin, Turkey. I hope you can have a go and treat yourself, family and friends with these delicious carrot delights. Cezerye keeps well in an air tight container for a week.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish desserts
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium to large carrots (app. 400 gr), cleaned and grated
  • 200 gr / 7 oz. / 1 cup white sugar (or 1¼ cup brown sugar)
  • 50 gr / 2 oz. walnuts, chopped into small pieces
  • 8 fl. oz./1 cup water
  • 50 gr/ 2 oz./1/3 cup desiccated coconut flakes to decorate
  • Bowl of water to shape cezerye squares or balls
Instructions
  1. Place the grated carrots, ½ cup water and sugar in a wide, heavy pan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring often. Cook this way for about 30 minutes or until all the liquid evaporated.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ½ cup water and cook again on medium heat, stirring continuously (carrots also release their own juice, therefore I prefer to add the liquid a step at a time so that the carrots won’t become mushy).
  4. Cook the carrots until all the juice evaporated and they are softened, this should take another 30 minutes. Using your stirring spoon, mash the cooked carrots to turn into a thick, chunky paste. At this point, they should also thicken, start to caramalise and get sticky (you can take a little bit between your fingers to test whether it sticks or not). Turn the heat off.
  5. Stir in the chopped walnuts to the carrot paste and mix well. Again using your stirring spoon, blend them all well and turn into a thick paste.
  6. Cover a small rectangular dish or tray with parchment paper. Spread the carrot paste evenly and tightly, making sure they stay intact, with a height of 1,5 cm (0.6”).
  7. Cover with a cling film and rest the mixture to settle for 2 hours in fridge.
  8. After 2 hours, start shaping the carrot paste. Have a bowl of water near you. Wet your hands, take a dessert spoonful and shape into small round balls. Or wet your knife and cut into small squares.
  9. Spread the desiccated coconut flakes on a dry surface and coat the carrot balls and squares with the flakes to coat all over.
  10. Cezerye is ready to serve. Cezerye keeps well in an air tight container for a week.
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From Menemen to Izmir Kofte; delicious and easy Turkish meals when you are on the move

We have just moved in to our new home; very exciting yet also busy with packing and settling in. I gathered a few of my favorite recipes here that can be easily prepared, yet delicious and wholesome – I know I will be turning to them and knowing I have good food ready to enjoy & serve will give me peace of mind, at the end of a busy day. These dishes can also be prepared ahead of time or can be cooked all in one pot. I hope these also may inspire you for wholesome and easy meals; look forward to sharing new recipes from our new home soon!

Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, oninons and feta cheese, Menemen

Menemen; Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta cheese.

Menemen; Turkish scrambled egg with tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta cheese.

What do you cook when you are loaded with boxes and busy unpacking? Well, this delicious scrambled egg and vegetables is packed with flavour, it is nutritious and gets ready in minutes. Menemen is one of my homeland’s favorite brunch item, and a great street food. There are many versions of it – garlic, onion, any choice of cheese, spinach would go well too. Served with nice crusty bread and a little garlic yoghurt by the side, this dish can make a wonderful light supper or a substantial lunch option.

Casserole of meatballs, peppers, onions and potato; Izmir Kofte

Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, onions, peppers and potato

Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, onions, peppers and potato

How about this melt-in-the mouth Izmir Kofte; Casserole of meatballs, peppers, onions and potato? This is a popular meatball and vegetable casserole (not only with the children but with the adults too!) that can either be cooked on the stove top or baked in the oven. It makes a complete and hearty main course served with plain white rice or a slice of crusty bread. Delicious, easy meal; you can add as much red pepper flakes as you would like for a spicier flavor.

 Zucchini fritters with feta, dill and green onions –  Mucver

Zucchini fritters with feta, spring onions and dill; Mucver; delicious

Zucchini fritters with feta, spring onions and dill; Mucver; delicious

Zucchini, kabak in Turkish, are very versatile, used in many dishes and their flowers are perfect for stuffing. This surprisingly easy and  wonderful vegetarian fritters, Mucver, are fantastic accompanied by garlic infused yoghurt or a leafy salad and crusty bread. You can enjoy them as a meze/appetizer for supper or light lunch dish. The bite size versions would be a great party / finger food too. They are also wonderful served next day as a cold snack. They are easy to make and delightful. Here is my Mucver recipe, if you’d like to give it a go.

Bulgur wheat pilaf with vegetables; Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Bulgur pilaf with onions, peppers and tomatoes, Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Bulgur pilaf with onions, peppers and tomatoes, Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Often confused with cracked wheat, bulgur wheat is a grain made from cooked whole wheat berries, which have had the bran removed, and is then dried in the sun and crushed. As it has already been cooked, it requires little cooking to reconstitute itself. It is available coarsely and finely ground. For pilaf, the coarser type is used, to create a nutty and delicious dish, which is a meal in itself and served with yoghurt. Bulgur has been a major staple in many rural areas in Turkey; during the Ottoman Period, the rice was a very precious commodity that only the rich could afford. This made the bulgur a very popular option and healthy one too. It is reach in fiber and provides good source of protein.  I love this delicious and wholesome bulgur pilaf with vegetables; you get a complete, satisfying meal in no time. You can serve Cacik dip, yoghurt with cucumbers and dried mint as a side for a refreshing accompaniment.

Eggplants, green lentils and vegetables cooked in Olive Oil; Mercimekli Mualla

Aubergine with green lentils, aubergine onions and peppers; Mercimekli Mualla- such a delicious treat

Aubergine with green lentils, aubergine onions and peppers; Mercimekli Mualla- such a delicious treat

We have a whole section in Turkish cuisine called “Vegetables cooked in Olive Oil”, Zeytinyaglilar, where we cook vegetables in olive oil and serve them either cold or at room temperature. Once cooked, it is important for the dish to cool down in its pan and rest, allowing all the flavors to blend. Usually served with a wedge of lemon, this style of cooking is very healthy, tasty and refreshing. This traditional recipe, Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla, is from Antakya, Southern part of Turkey, where my roots are from. The amazing flavors of green lentils, olive oil, eggplant and dried mint blend so well and take me back to Antakya immediately. Again, all-in-one-pot, delicious vegetarian meal you can prepare ahead of time.

Turkish beans salad with vegetables, olives, boiled egg in sumac dressing; Fasulye Piyazi

Bean salad with onions, tomatoes, olives and boiled eggs - Fasulye piyazl

Bean salad with onions, tomatoes, olives and boiled eggs – Fasulye piyazl

What do you cook when you have limited time? Well, this bean and vegetable salad, fasulye piyazi, can be ready in a flash, it is very delicious and healthy. At home, traditionally we serve fasulye piyazi with grilled meatballs, koftes. There are traditional restaurants, lokantas, at home that solely serve Turkish style meatballs, fasulye piyaz and pickled cucumber and peppers. This salad is also a great alternative for lunch, served with some nice crusty bread or in can be a part of a meze spread. I would happily have this salad with some nice bread aside for a light supper.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts – Cevizli kayisi tatlisi

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; delicious, easy and packed with goodness.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts; delicious, easy and packed with goodness.

One of Turkey’s most prolific fruits is the apricot. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world. Apricots are great snacks; they are packed with fiber, antioxidants and their naturally rich, wonderful flavor is icing on the cake. This delicious & easy baked dried apricots with walnuts dessert is great for sharing with friends and family or just indulging yourself.

Delicious, frothy Turkish Coffee – Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

Turkish Coffee, Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

Turkish Coffee, Turk Kahvesi; More than a Drink

For me, nothing more relaxing than taking a break with a  nice cup of Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi is one of the most popular traditional drinks at home in Turkey and I love the whole ritual, the experience of it. In Turkish, we have a saying “Bir fincan kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir” which means “The memory of a good cup of Turkish coffee lasts 40 years”. Turkish coffee is a drink of friendship; you are offered this traditional, aromatic drink wherever you go in Turkey; when visiting friends and family, in the shops, while waiting in the bank, in hairdressers.. We take time to pause and enjoy this special drink with a friend or family or sometimes simply reflect with every precious sip. A glass of water and Turkish Delights, Lokum by the side complete the Turkish coffee ritual. And I always look forward to putting the feet up and enjoy a sip of Turkish coffee at then end of a busy day.

Afiyet Olsun!

Ozlem

 

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