Green Beans Braised in Tomato and Olive Oil

In Turkey, slow braised vegetables in olive oil is common. It’s a cooking method that creates fabulous flavours. These green beans are cooked with tomatoes, olive oil and onions until meltingly soft – and the sauce! Oh my!

The method of cooking is very similar to a la Grecque style of cooking, where wine and olive oil are used to slowly cook the vegetables. This dish  has no wine, but uses lemon juice instead.

Similar recipes include Gujarati Green Beans, Green Beans with Freekeh, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Salad.

Browse our Green Bean dishes and our Turkish recipes. Our a la Grecque  recipes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Spiced Burghul Wrapped in Vine Leaves | Yaprak Sarma

Today we have a variety of Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), of which there are many types across the Mediterranean and Middle East. This Turkish recipe uses Burghul, which forms a bright red and a little firey stuffing for the vine leaves. I like to use a type of Burghul available in Middle Eastern grocers, where burghul is mixed with vermicelli. Its a delicious alternative.

Use fresh vine leaves (my preference) or preserved vine leaves, but rinse the preserved ones well to get rid of any saltiness.

The recipe, which I have altered a little, comes via the SBS site which credits the book Istanbul: Recipes From the Heart of Turkey, by Rebecca Seal, for the original. Vine leaves can be stuffed with a number of fillings, but rice and burghul are the most common. The vine leaves are wrapped around the filling, and the little fat cigar-shaped dolmas are simmered in water, olive oil and lemon until the vine leaves are tender. In Turkey they are often served for mezze with yoghurt.

Similar recipes include Vine Leaf Powder, Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, and Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves.

Try also Burghul with Pinenuts and Sultanas, and Spicy Chickpea and Burghul Soup.

Browse all of our Grape Vine Leaf recipes and all of our Turkish dishes. Our Burghul recipes are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Baked Yoghurt Encrusted with Vine Leaves

Ottolenghi believes that Turkish cuisine is one of the most exciting and accomplished in the world. I would argue that Indian is, but the cuisines between Indian and the Mediterranean definitely come close. Ottolenghi’s Book Plenty contains this unusual savoury cake (perhaps a pie) from the Turkish part of Northern Cyprus (where it is called Kibris Böreği).  A version of this dish is also known in Greece, being made in the Drama Region of Greece’s Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where it’s known as Asmapita. The name comes from the Turkish word Asma, which means grapevine.

Ottolenghi credits a book Classic Turkish Cooking by Ghillie Basan, so I borrowed the book to browse through. It is a great book if you are looking for Turkish recipes. I recommend it.

The recipe caught our attention because we have a Vine Leaf thing going at the moment, using them in a number of ways. We haven’t made dolmades yet, but they are on the list. Have a look at what we have made so far. There are more to come.

This is a dish where a shallow layer of yoghurt mixed with herbs and thickened with rice flour is baked wrapped in vine leaves! Grape leaves impart their exceptional flavour and aroma to the filling as it bakes. The breadcrumbs and sesame seeds add a crunchy layer to each slice. How very delicious! This recipe comes together in minutes, tastes great, and can be eaten warm or cold. It is an excellent contribution to a table of mezze.

Have I mentioned too, how the grape vine leaves are scented, and the kitchen begins to smell like a grape arbour. As you scald them, they release the fragrance. As I dry them in the sun the outside deck is scented with grape vines. As they bake, they have a lovely woody, grapevine aroma.

Similar recipes include Dolmades, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, Burghul Dolmas, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves.

Browse our Turkish dishes and all of our Vine Leaf recipes. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here. Or explore our other Early Summer recipes.

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Fava Bean Puree With Dill and Olive Oil | Turkish Fava | Dried Broad Bean Puree

It seems that no matter how you cook broad beans, they need peeling. Except perhaps for the extremely young fresh beans, you need to get your long thumb nail working and peel that outer skin off of the individual beans.

This applies also to the dried beans. I have heard that you can buy pre-peeled, dried broad beans, but I have not been able to find them. So trust me, it is not worth cooking the dried beans without peeling first. The dried skin is like a suit of armour, hard and tough even when the inner flesh has boiled away to nothing.

To peel these little battle beans, cover with boiling water, and leave to soak for 12 hours, no less, and up to 24 hours. The peels may have split a little, allowing you to peel the skin off. Once peeled, you can cook them as desired.

This recipe is a Broad Bean Purée with Dill, a Turkish dish. Turkish Fava is made with Fava beans (broad beans), unlike the Greek Fava which is made with yellow split lentils. Confusing, I know, but how great diversity is! The purée is left to set, then unmoulded or cut into cubes. It is then drizzled with olive oil, lemon, and some fresh dill.

Are you looking for Broad Bean recipes? Try Broad Bean and Butter Bean Dip, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Tawa Broad Beans.

For our dried Broad Beans, we have Fava Bean Soup with Potatoes, and Dried Fava Bean Soup with Turmeric and Herbs.

Or perhaps you are looking for dips for your Mezza table? Try Broad Bean and Mint Puree, Green Tomato Salsa with CorianderRoasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Hummus, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Try some other Turkish dishes too. We recommend Beets in a Herbed Dressing, Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses, and Rose Petals and Yoghurt.

You can find all of our Dips here, or browse all of our Broad Bean recipes. You might like to look through all of our Turkish dishes. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Beets in a Herb Dressing

Beautiful Beetroot, roasted, and dressed with herbs

Beetroot is a great vegetable, and baby beets are sweet and tender. This recipe treats them minimally. You can use baby beets or larger, medium sized ones.

The inspiration for this dish came from Turquoise by Greg Malouf. I recommend this cookbook of Turkish recipes. It is beautiful.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Roasted Beetroot with Maple Dressing, Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad, Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with MustardRaw Beetroot and Herb Salad, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with RocketBeetroot, Orange and Olive Salad, and Beetroot with Honey Dressing.

Feel free to browse other recipes from Turquoise.  You might also like our Beetroot recipes. Or you might like to browse Salad recipes too. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes here.

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Salty, Garlicky Labneh | Thick Thick Yoghurt

A beautiful, garlicky thick yoghurt for salads, soups and dips.

Labneh is a particular favourite, going into salads, soups, pasta dishes, dips, vegetable dishes, deserts and breakfast dishes.

We call it Thick Thick Yoghurt. See these previous posts on our love for this wonderful food. And this is how to make it: Making Thick Thick Yoghurt. Recently we began making it pre-flavoured with salt and garlic. You will love it too.

Similar recipes include Green Peppers and Yoghurt, and Thick Thick Yoghurt with Walnuts and Zaatar.

You might like to browse all of our yoghurt recipes, our Middle Eastern dishes and all of our Salads. Our Dips are here if you are after dips and sauces. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Cacik | Turkish Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze

Cool off in hot weather with a classic yoghurt dip from Turkey.

Cacik is a wonderful dish, cooling in summer and endlessly versatile. It can be made very thick with thick thick yoghurt to serve as a dip or along side curries, rice dishes and pastry dishes. Make it with ordinary yoghurt as a sauce to drizzle over vegetables or salads or some filo pastry dish. Or make it thin with some ice cold water and eat as a soup.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs, and Green peppers in yoghurt.

Here we love yoghurt, so there is quite a collection of yoghurt recipes, including drinks, dips, raitas, yoghurt curries and salad dressings. I hope something inspires you there. Or our Dips are here, Turkish dishes here and Middle Eastern recipes here. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.

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Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip

Take some yoghurt, feta and mustard and you have a dip for a Summery day.

Gathering the thick thick yoghurt, some home made mustard, a smidgen of honey, and a copy of Turquoise, Greg Malouf’s mustardy creation was manifested. It can be a dip, sauce or dressing and the combination of flavours is quite synergistic – beyond what you might expect.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try our Roast Capsicum Sauce and Dressing and Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Sauce.

You might like to try other Yoghurt dishes here and here, and other Dips here and here. All of our Turquoise dishes are here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Rose Petals and Yoghurt with Fruits

Yoghurt and roses. A wonderful marriage.

Yoghurt forms the basis of so many great dishes, savoury and sweet. Dried rose buds which can be purchased at Asian and Middle Eastern groceries, have a natural affinity to yoghurt, sweetening and perfuming it. This recipe brings the two of them together.

We have a wealth of yoghurt recipes, from drinks to curries to salad dressings, desserts, dips, toppings and more. Browse through them here and here. Dessert recipes are here and here. Or find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs

Thick yoghurt and tahini dip with walnuts.

Try this Yoghurt Tahina Dip with herbs. You might like to eat it with Oatmeal Crackers, or perhaps, just by the spoonful. It is made with Thick Thick Yoghurt, a favourite ingredient in this kitchen.

Turkish in style, it combines two of the most common ingredients – yoghurt and Tahini. The lemon will thicken the tahini quite a bit, and then it is thinned with olive oil and a little water.

Are you looking for yoghurt dishes? You might like to try Shrikhand or Haydari. Or see A Dozen Ways to Use Thick Yoghurt.

Are you looking for more dips? Try Cacik (Yoghurt and Cucumber), Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, a Moroccan Carrot Dip, and Zhug – a Coriander-Chilli Dip.

Or browse all of our yoghurt dishes, or our Turkish dishes, and also Middle Eastern dishes. Find inspiration in our Late Spring recipe collection.

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Green Olive, Walnut, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad

The most incredible salad

In the past it has been difficult to get pomegranates that were as tasty as those in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India. There, they are so flavoursome, sweet, served by the bowlful for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here, early in the season, there were only wild pomegranates in the shop. Small, tart, hard, inedible. It was only later, much much later, some became available that approach the deliciousness of the fruit of India.

Are you after Pomegranate recipes? Why not make your own Pomegranate Molasses, Pomegranate Vinegar  and Pomegranate Honey. Or try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Pomegranate Salsa, and Burghul Salad with Pomegranates.

You can browse all of our Pomegranate recipes here. And browse all of our Salad recipes here. Or be inspired by our Mid Winter recipes.

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Haydari | A Turkish Yoghurt Dip

A Turkish Dip

Haydari is a thick dip and spread made from strained yoghurt which is called suzme in Turkish. It is very much like the Middle Eastern labne. Spread it on toast or flat breads, or serve with salads or chargrilled vegetables and tofu.

Looking for other Turkish recipes? Browse them here. Or browse our Dips, Sauces and Salsas here. Our favourites are Cacik and Pawpaw Salsa. You might like our Yoghurt recipes here and here. Or be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Spicy Rustic Red Lentil Soup with Thick Thick Yoghurt

In my palette of dried beans and lentils, it is the red lentil that is used least of all. I am not sure why. Its colour is lively, it is so easy to cook, does not require previous soaking and it falls to a wonderful creamy mush as it cooks. Perfect for when there is never enough time.

Red lentils were one of the four pulses commonly available as I was growing up – red lentils, split peas,  yellow split peas, barley – and was often thrown by the handful into overcooked soups and stews, left bland and forgotten at the bottom of the dish in an era when spices and herbs were not to be found in any Proper Country Australian Housewife’s kitchen. These women knew how to cook vegetables and meat for their men, but not “these dried things”.

That certainly has changed. This red lentil, called Masoor Dal in India, has a solid place in the pantry now. It is not to be confused with Toor Dal, commonly called Red Gram or Red Lentils in Indian recipes.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Thai Red Lentil SoupRed Lentil Soup with Ginger, Garlic and Spices, and Red Lentils and Mung Dal.

Browse all of our Red Lentil recipes and all of our Soups. We have other Turkish recipes. Or find inspiration in our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses

In this Indian Summer weather, some dried tomatoes with pomegranate molasses / syrup, seems perfect, especially when eaten with thick thick yoghurt.  Also perfect but a little different are dried tomatoes with sumac. Drying tomatoes concentrates the sugars, and this makes them a perfect foil for pomegranate or sumac.

Why not make your own Pomegranate Molasses? Also make some Pomegranate Honey – it keeps you healthy all through winter. This is how you extract the Pomegranate Juice.

Or try Pomegranate SalsaTomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Pomegranate and Banana Salad.

You might like to also make Haloumi Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac, and Du Puy Lentils with Oven Dried Tomatoes.

All of our Middle Eastern recipes are here, the Tomato recipes here and Pomegranate recipes here.  Find inspiration in our Mid Autumn recipes.

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How to Make Thick Thick Yoghurt | Labneh | Strained Yogurt | Greek Yogurt | Yogurt Cheese

The joy of thick yoghurt. As thick as thick cream, superb as a topping, spread or base for a dip or a dessert, it is a necessary ingredient in the kitchen. Easy to make, it leaves whey which can be used in oats, breads, juices and soups.

Eat labneh straight from the bowl! Or with fruit and a drizzle of honey. Over jam on crunchy breakfast toast. Or roll it into balls for a savoury labneh.

We have other recipes for Labneh. Try Garlicky Labneh, Blueberry Shrikhand, and A Dozen Ways to use Labneh.

We have many recipes that use yoghurt and you can browse them here. Have a look at our dips too. Or get inspired by our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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