Lots of olive oil based fresh vegetable dishes from the Mediterranean. Many tasty vegetarian & vegan dishes. Some of the Turkish mezes (appetizers) make great side dishes.

July 8, 2016

Cauliflower Rice with Lentils

This is a healthy, gluten free variation of a classic bulgur (cracked wheat) pilaf with green or brown lentils. Cauliflower rice is substituted for bulgur, giving […]
July 2, 2016

Artichokes Stuffed with Avocados

Here’s a perfect example of an Aegean-California fusion dish, if there is such a thing. Although the Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing avocados, they are […]
January 10, 2015

Carrots Braised in Olive Oil

    Carrots and onions sautéed in olive oil is a simple dish. Easy to prepare and takes less than 15 minutes to cook. Typically a […]
December 12, 2014

Quinoa Pilaf with Garbanzo Beans

Quinoa Pilaf with Garbanzo Beans (Nohutlu Kinoa Pilavı) OK, I admit I did not know what quinoa was until just a few years ago. But then, […]
October 30, 2014

Eggplants, Peppers & Tomatoes in Olive Oil – Kırlı Kızartması

Eggplants, Peppers & Tomatoes in Olive Oil Literally meaning “peasant fries”, Kirli Kizartmasi is a local dish from Aydin province in the Aegean region of Turkey. […]
March 11, 2014

Spinach Purée with Cheese

Spinach Purée with Cheese Ingredients: 2 lbs fresh baby spinach 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons all purpose flour 2 cups milk 1  cup grated romano or […]
February 14, 2014

Baked Spinach Rolls

Baked Spinach Rolls – Ispanaklı Kol Böreği Borek is  typically a baked or fried pastry with cheese, minced meat or vegetable fillings. It is made with […]
January 28, 2014

Freekeh Pilaf with Garbanzo Beans

Freekeh Pilaf with Garbanzo Beans Firik (freekeh) pilaf is from the Southeastern part of Turkey. It is an ancient dish originated around 2300 BC in the Middle […]
November 26, 2012

Bar Pilaf with Shrimps – Karidesli Meyhane Pilavı

Bar Pilaf with Shrimps – Karidesli Meyhane Pilavı Meyhane is a cross between a restaurant and a pub. “mey” means “wine” and “hane” means “house”, however, […]
October 19, 2012

Spinach and Mushrooms in Olive Oil – Zeytinyağlı Mantarlı Ispanak

Spinach and Mushrooms in Olive Oil – Zeytinyağlı Mantarlı Ispanak Ingredients: ¼ cup olive oil 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, sliced 1 lb baby spinach […]
October 14, 2012

Uzbek Pilaf with Chicken – Tavuklu Özbek Pilavı

Uzbek Pilaf with Chicken – Tavuklu Özbek Pilavı Uzbek Pilaf is traditionally prepared with lamb browned in butter or lamb fat. I’ve modified the recipe by […]
October 5, 2012

Eggplants Stuffed with Tomatoes, Onions and Garlic in Olive Oil – Imam Bayıldı

Eggplants Stuffed with Onions and Garlic in Olive Oil – Imam Bayıldı The name of this famous dish  “Imam Bayıldı“ means “Priest Fainted”, supposedly with pleasure […]
June 26, 2012

Garbanzo Bean Dip with Cumin and Dill

Garbanzo Bean Dip with Cumin and Dills This is a dip similar to hummus, except that it does not have tahini (sesame paste) in it. Not […]
June 4, 2012

Carrot Salad with Garlic Yogurt – Yoğurtlu Havuç Ezmesi

Carrot Salad with Garlic Yogurt “Raki” is an anise based drink that is unofficially considered to be the national drink of Turkey. Raki is not just […]
May 28, 2012

Pickled Beets – Pancar Turşusu

Pickled Beets Another easy, healthy recipe. Like other colorful root vegetables, beets are very good for you. Beets are rich in folic acid, calcium, iron and […]
May 24, 2012

Zucchini Fritters – Mücver

Zucchini Fritters – Mücver Who knew zucchini tasted so good? Start with zucchini, add a bunch of herbs, add eggs and flour, then fry them to […]
May 22, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes This is a simple summer salad that I make with Quinoa and other grains. You can use cooked […]
May 20, 2012

Swiss Chard Rolls with Bulgur Stuffing – Bulgurlu Pazi Dolmasi

Swiss Chard Rolls with Bulgur Stuffing Ingredients: 2 bunches of Swiss Chards (about 12 leaves) 3 cups boiling water 1 ½ cup No1(fine) or No 2 […]
April 22, 2012

Circassian Chicken Salad – Cerkez Tavugu

Circassian Chicken Salad – Cerkez Tavugu This is one of classical mezes (appetizers) of the Ottoman Cuisine. It originates from the Caucasus Mountains where the Circassians […]
April 3, 2012

Couscous with Feta Cheese

Couscous with Feta Cheese and Garbanzo Beans Couscous, originally from North Africa, is a pasta dish fairly common throughout the Middle East. In Turkey it mostly […]
March 18, 2012

Orzo Pilaf with Red Peppers – Şehriye Pilavi

Orzo Pilaf with Bellpeppers Orzo is most commonly used in soups in Turkish Cuisine. Growing up, when we had a cold, mom used to make chicken […]
March 14, 2012

Müceddere – Bulgur Pilaf with Green Lentils

Müceddere – Bulgur Pilaf with Green Lentils Ingredients: 1 cup green lentils soaked in water 3+ 2 cups water 1 cup size 3 bulgur ( cracked […]
March 5, 2012

Black Eyed Peas & Peppers in Olive Oil

Black Eyed Peas & Peppers in Olive Oil Here’s a simple dish that could be eaten hot or cold, either by itself or as a side […]
January 18, 2012

Artichoke Hearts in Olive Oil

In the Aegean region, when artichokes are in season, the most common way people cook them is to stuff whole heads of fresh artichokes with seasoned […]
January 12, 2012

Eggplants and Peppers in Olive Oil

Ingredients: As I mentioned before, there’s supposed to be 41 different eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine. This is one of the simplest ones. Though it is […]
January 4, 2012

Sautéed Mushrooms in Olive Oil

Sautéed Mushrooms in Olive Oil This is one of the rare olive oil dishes from my kitchen that the directions does not start with “sauté onions […]
December 18, 2011

Celery Roots Braised in Olive Oil

Celery Roots Braised in Olive Oil   Ingredients: 2 celery roots 1 medium onion ½ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 can organic garbanzo […]
June 11, 2011

Bulgur Pilaf (Cracked Wheat) :

Bulgur pilaf with sautéd mushrooms Bulgur pilaf with peas Bulgur Pilaf Traditionally bulgur(cracked wheat) is commonly used in Turkey. However, it is considered as the “poor […]
June 11, 2011

Leeks with Bulgur Braised in Olive Oil

Ingredients: 2 lbs leeks 2 medium carrots 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons coarse size #4 bulgur (cracked wheat) 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 […]
June 11, 2011

Edamame a la Mediterranean

Japan meets Turkey! Many vegetable dishes are cooked with olive oil and onions in Turkey, and most of the Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, France […]
June 11, 2011

BOREK: Savory Cheese Pastry Squares

Savory Pastry Squares: BOREK This is a recipe from my dear late father-in-law, Vakif Ari who had many “signature dishes” from borek to omlettes, salads, and […]