Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines are full of olive oil based vegetable dishes. These vegetable dishes are easy to make yet they are delicious. Their flavors are enriched with fresh herbs and spices.

August 31, 2022

Zucchini Ribbons with Rice in Olive Oil

Zucchini Ribbons with Rice in Olive Oil
May 14, 2018

Stuffed Dates

Here’s a sinfully decadent vegan dessert that is healthy at the same time. Looks delicious and is always a party favorite as an appetizer. It is very […]
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 […]
March 20, 2015

Rainbow Fruit Tower

  Here’s a refreshing fruit dessert that looks appetizing and tastes heavenly. It is easy to make, easy to serve. It makes a great breakfast/brunch dessert as well. I’m […]
January 18, 2015

Kataifi Balls with Pistachio Filling

Kataifi is a shredded dough that sort of looks like shredded wheat cereal. It is mostly used for desserts with syrup. Different kinds of nuts, fresh […]
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, […]
December 2, 2014

Hummus with Red Beets – Pancarlı Humus

Hummus with Red Beets Ingredients: 1 small-medium beet (1 cup) 2 cups of water 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained 2 table spoons tahini (sesame paste) […]
November 18, 2014

Weaved Puff Pastry Cheese Rolls – Örgülü Peynirli Puf Böreği

Weaved Puff Pastry Cheese Rolls If you want a very easy recipe for borek, this is it! You’ll use puff pastry right out of the freezer. […]
November 14, 2014

Simple and Delicious Green Lentil Salad with Herbs – Maydanozlu Yeşil Mercimek Salatası

 Green Lentil Salad with Herbs My friend Zinnur, ever so busy, somehow always finds time to get the friends together at her house. This salad was […]
November 8, 2014

Roasted Bell Peppers in Lemon Garlic Sauce – Tarator Soslu Közlenmiş Biber

Tarator is a garlic-olive oil based sauce that is commonly used in summer salads in Western Turkey. Cooked long string beans (börülce), zucchini, peppers of all […]
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. […]
May 26, 2014

Red Beet Green Apple Salad

Red Beet Green Apple Salad I don’t believe there are any Turkish recipes that use raw beets. Typically in Turkish Cuisine, beets are cooked before they […]
May 22, 2014

Cauliflower Tabule Salad

Cauliflower Tabule (Tabbouleh) Salad – Karnıbahar Kısırı   Tabule (Tabbouleh) is a traditional Lebanese salad made with fine bulgur, finely chopped herbs, seasoned with olive oil and […]
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 […]
March 7, 2014

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing Ingredients: 6 cups baby kale 1 medium green apple, sliced 1 medium orange, peeled 1 small avocado, diced 2  Tbsp hemp […]
March 2, 2014

Savory Dill and Cheese Pastry

Savory Dill and Cheese pastry Savory treats are my favorites for tea time. My friend Nur served these to us with coffee and they were an […]
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 […]
February 4, 2014

Barley Salad with Pomegranates

  Barley Salad with Pomegranate Seeds I make a quinoa salad similar to this. I was having my friends for lunch and I planned to cook […]
January 31, 2014

Collard Green Soup with Corn and Beans

Collard Greens Soup with Corn and Beans My friend Nur is is a master chef in the kitchen. She is from the Black Sea region of […]
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 […]
January 19, 2014

Savory Kataifi Balls with Cheese

Savory Kataifi Balls with Cheese – Peynirli Çıtır Kadayıf Couple of years ago we were in the small Greek Island of Leros. We enjoyed many delicacies at Mylos […]
December 30, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Almonds and Mint – Nazuktan

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Almonds and Mint – Nazuktan Roasted Eggplant Salad with Almonds and Mint – Nazuktan Nazuktan is a Central Anatolian recipe. I have […]
May 3, 2013

Diced Zucchini with Scrambled Eggs

Diced Zucchini with Scrambled Eggs This is a common dish from the rural areas of the Aegean region of Turkey where I grew up. When I was […]
March 29, 2013

Spinach Salad with Orzo & Cheese – Sehriyeli Ispanak Salatası

Spinach Salad with Orzo and Cheese Ingredients: 1 bag (6 oz) fresh baby spinach 1/4 cup orzo (barley shaped pasta) 1 table spoon pine nuts, roasted […]
February 23, 2013

Garbanzo Balls – Nohut Köftesi

  Garbanzo Balls   Ingredients: 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (dry or canned) If you are going to use dry garbanzo beans, you need to soak […]
December 27, 2012

Olive Bread – Zeytinli Ekmek

Olive Bread – Zeytinli Ekmek Here’s a tasty savory bread with olives, cheese and herbs. Very easy to make. It is great at breakfast/brunch as well […]
November 15, 2012

Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese – Cevizli Roka Salatası

Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese – Cevizli Roka Salatası Arugula is surely one of the Mediterranean salad favorites. In Turkey it is commonly served […]
November 5, 2012

Creamy Vegetable Soup – Kremalı Sebze Çorbası

Creamy Vegetable Soup – Kremalı Sebze  Çorbası Ingredients: 2 stalks of leeks, chopped 2 medium carrots, chopped 2 zucchini, chopped 1 cup cauliflower florets 1 bunch […]
November 2, 2012

3 Layer Potato Salad – 3 Katlı Patates Salatası

3 Layer Potato Salad – 3 Katlı Patates Salatasi This in fact, is an appetizer/salad that consists of 3 different appetizers in three different colors layered […]
October 26, 2012

Sautéed String Beans with Eggs – Yumurtali Borulce Kavurmasi

Sautéed String Beans with Eggs – Yumurtali Borulce My friend Nuran cooked this for us on our boat trip this summer. She told us that this […]
October 22, 2012

Celery Root Salad – Kereviz Salatası

Celery Root Salad – Kereviz Salatası Here’s very health salad that you can also serve as a dip or as a topping for crackers or pita […]
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 16, 2012

Layered Cauliflower-Broccoli Salad – Katlı Karnıbahar-Brokoli Salatası

Cauliflower-Broccoli Salad – Karnıbahar-Brokoli Salatası Ingredients: 1 medium cauliflower 1 lb broccoli juice of 1 lemon 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon mustard salt and pepper […]
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 […]
October 1, 2012

Menemen – Scrambled Eggs with Onions, Tomatoes and Peppers

Menemen – Scrambled Eggs with Onions, Tomatoes and Peppers Menemen is a close cousin to omlettes, but it is typically a summer lunch classic in Turkish […]
August 21, 2012

Plum Preserves – Erik Reçeli

Plum Preserves At the peak of summer, local farmers markets are bursting with colorful fruits and vegetables. I bought two different kinds of plums. One had […]
July 22, 2012

Walnut Stuffed Figs – Cevizli Kuru İncir Tatlısı

Walnut Stuffed Figs – Cevizli Kuru İncir Tatlısı I grew up in the Western part of Turkey. The region we lived in (Aydin) is famous for […]
July 18, 2012

Shepherd’s Salad – Çoban Salatası

Shepherd’s Salad –  Çoban Salatası Especially popular during summer, Shepherd’s Salad (Çoban Salatası) is light, refreshing and easy to make. It is a combination of finely […]
July 16, 2012

Cucumber Salad with Yogurt

Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Here’s a refreshing salad for hot summer days that is easy to make. I use small cucumbers that are sold as Persian […]
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 19, 2012

Poğaça – Savory Pastry with Cheese Filling

Poğaça – Savory Pastry with Cheese Filling Poğaça is a delicious little pasty which usually accompanies tea coffee in the morning or in afternoon. It is unresistable […]
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 […]
May 15, 2012

Fava Beans in Olive Oil – Zeytinyagli Bakla

Fava Beans in Olive Oil – Zeytinyagli Bakla Fava Beans in Olive Oil – Zeytinyagli Bakla Ingredients: 1 lb fresh fava beans 4 cups water 1 […]
May 13, 2012

Yogurt Dip with Walnuts & Herbs – Haydari

Haydari – Yogurt Dip with Walnuts and Herbs Haydari – Yogurt Dip with Walnuts & Herbs Haydari is a typical meze (appetizer) made with strained (thick) […]
May 11, 2012

Apricot Jam – Kayisi Reçeli

Apricot Jam With their velvety skin, “melts in your mouth” taste and fantastic aroma, apricots are undoubtedly one of the delicacies of summer. Apricot jam is […]
May 9, 2012

Purslane Salad with Garlic Yogurt

Purslane Salad with Garlic Yogurt Ingredients: 1 bunch purslane (about 1 cup) 1 cup yogurt 2 cloves of garlic, crushed Salt to taste Directions: Nip tender […]
May 5, 2012

Swiss Chards with Bulgur in Olive Oil – Zeytinyagli Bulgurlu Pazi

Swiss Chards with Bulgur in Olive Oil This dish is a sort of “West meets East” version of the traditional Swiss Chard dish from Turkey. Swiss […]
April 12, 2012

White Beans in Olive Oil – Kuru Fasulye

White Beans over Rice – Kurufasulye – Pilav is one of the most basic, traditional, comforting dishes in the Turkish Cuisine. If you go to a […]
April 10, 2012

Celery and Leeks with Garlic Yogurt

Celery and Leeks with Garlic Yogurt Just when you think you’ve tasted all of the Turkish mezes with garlic yogurt, another one shows up on a […]
April 9, 2012

Fruit Salad with Nuts

Fruit Salad with Nuts Ingredients: 1 cup blueberries 1 mango, cubed 1 orange, cubed 3 small mandarin oranges 1 cup strawberries, cut in quarters 1 cup […]
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 […]
April 1, 2012

White Bean Salad – Piyaz

Piyaz – Classic Piyaz – Antalya Style Piyaz is usually a bean salad, mostly of white beans, with lots of onions and parsley, olive oil & […]
March 29, 2012

Henny’s Sunny Side Up Eggs with Mushrooms, Celery and Onions

Henny’s Famous Sunny Side Up Eggs with Mushrooms, Celery and Onions When my son asked me to go on a road trip to San Francisco together, […]
March 22, 2012

Poached Pears with Walnuts, Apricots, Currants

Poached Pears with Walnuts, Apricots and Currants Ingredients:        Poached Pears 1 bottle of red wine 1 + 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 […]
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 14, 2012

Mung Bean Salad – Maş Fasulyesi Piyazi

Mung Bean Salad – Maş Fasulyesi Piyazi Piyaz in general is a bean salad with chopped onions and herbs in an olive oil – vinegar dressing. […]
March 9, 2012

Red Cabbage Salad

Red Cabbage Salad In the summer of 2009, we went on a 3 day bus trip with our friends from high school to Amasra, a small […]
March 9, 2012

Pistachio Helva with Ice Cream

Pistachio Helva Ingredients: 1 cup of semolina (farina) 1 stick of unsalted butter 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons ground unsalted […]
March 8, 2012

Chocolate Balls with Pistachios & Coconut

Here’s a great party favorite. They are bite size and go great with after dinner drinks too. No cooking involved, just mix, roll and chill. Enjoy! […]
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 […]
February 28, 2012

Pink Sultan – Beet Dip with Garlic Yogurt

Pink Sultan – Pembe Sultan Here’s a meze bursting with color and flavor. Its almost florescent pink color comes from the beets. When one day, my […]
February 25, 2012

Helva – Farina Dessert with Pine Nuts – Fistikli Irmik Helvasi

We spend our summers in Bodrum, a popular coastal town on the Southwestern Coast of the Aegean Sea in Turkey. We are very lucky with our […]
February 20, 2012

Zucchini Dip with Garlic Yogurt

Zucchini Dip with Garlic Yogurt This is a “meze”, an appetizer, usually served as one of the side dishes that accompany a typical “raki dinner table” […]
February 14, 2012

Pumpkin Glace – Kabak Tatlisi

Pumpkin Glace, a heavenly dessert I thought for Valentine’s Day, I should post something sweet. This is one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts, one that is […]
February 10, 2012

Black Eyed Peas Salad – Borulce Piyazi

Black Eyed Peas Salad – Borulce Piyazi Piyaz is a kind of salad or meze that is made from some kind of dry beans, onions, parsley, […]
February 3, 2012

Poached Quince with Walnuts

Quince is a funny looking, lumpy shaped fruit that is not very easy to eat. When mature, they get sweeter, but they are never very sweet. […]
January 28, 2012

Green Lentils in Olive Oil

Green Lentils with Carrots in Olive Oil   In Turkish cuisine, like throughout the Middle East, both red and green lentils are used quite often, especially […]
January 23, 2012

Simply Delicious Cake

  Whenever I go to my sister Dilek’s house, one thing you can count on in the kitchen is their ever inviting home-made cake. This is […]
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

Strawberry Preserves

I grew up in a small town called Atca in the Aegean region of Turkey. I was lucky to be born in a beautiful place with […]
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

Ezogelin (Red Lentils with Bulgur) Soup

Ezogelin Soup – Red Lentil Soup with Bulgur Ezogelin Soup Red lentils uncooked When cooking red lentils, first they turn yellow but keep their shape As […]
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 […]
December 17, 2011

Holiday Quinoa Salad

Holiday Quinoa Salad Quinoa Salad with Red & Green Peppers Ingredients: ·         1 cup organic quinoa ·         ½ cup olive oil ·         1 medium onion ·         […]
December 11, 2011

Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad  I have to admit that there’s nothing Turkish about this recipe. Practically no one has heard of black beans, cilantro or quinoa in […]
December 9, 2011

Roasted Eggplant Salad

Roasted Eggplant Salad    When people see me buying eggplants at the supermarket, sometimes they ask “how do you cook them?, do you steam or stir […]
December 8, 2011

Lemon Frozen Yogurt

Lemon Frozen Yogurt Lemon Frozen Yogurt My family had a vacation home in Kusadasi, a coastal town on the Aegean. We used to spend our care-free […]
December 5, 2011

Green Beans Braised in Olive Oil

Green Beans Braised in Olive Oil There are several kinds of green beans in Turkey. Some are broad, some not. Fresh form of black eye beans […]
July 11, 2011

Potato Rollups

Potato Rollups This is one of my “California meets Turkey” recipes. Boiled, mashed potatoes are used as filling for many Turkish savory pastries along with cheese […]
July 11, 2011

Zucchini & Peppers Braised in Olive Oil

Zucchini & Peppers Braised in Olive Oil My friend Ugur is a master magician when it comes to cooking and presenting food. Her family roots come […]
July 11, 2011

Potato Salad

Potato Salad This is a very healthy version of potato salad. It is mayonnaise-free!  Ingredients: 3-4 medium size potatoes 1 medium red onion ½ cup olive […]
July 11, 2011

Gypsy Salad

Gypsy Salad (Cingen Pilavi) Although the original name, Cingen Pilavi means Gypsy Pilav when translated word by word, this is a salad. It is only known […]
July 1, 2011

Green Lentil Salad with Rice

This is a recipe from my sister Nuvit’s friend Ahu who lives in Istanbul.   Ingredients: 1 cup dry green lentils ½ cup rice ¼ cup […]
July 1, 2011

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad I had this salad at my friend Vega’s house first. Her husband Haluk is the king of salads. I came home and tried to […]
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

Walnut-Apricot Cheese Ball with Green Apples

  At my friend Mary’s party she had a log of delicious cheese with dried apricots. She served it with slices of green apples. I decided […]
June 11, 2011

MUHAMMARA: Spicy Walnut Dip

MUHAMMARA – Spicy Walnut Dip from Antep, Southeastern Turkey Muhammara with pita bread This recipe is from my mother-in-law Nevzat Ari, a retired art teacher. She […]
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 […]