Discover more from Meze by Vidar Bergum
5 recipes: Everyday cooking with lots of flavour
Dishes that will make your autumn just that little bit more exciting.
Two weeks ago, my partner and I decided – at the very last minute – to head to South-Eastern Turkey for a couple of days. Regular readers may remember that we’ve a close relationship with Antakya (Hatay), visiting regularly over the years, including joining a traditional sacrifice feast in one of the local villages last year.
Our friends from the region had decided to go back there for a few weeks, to see family and provide support to those still in the area – moral as well as practical. Some have remained there since the earthquake, others have come back for the summer to fix up damages or simply protect their properties. We decided to do the same, even if for only a day.
We flew into Gaziantep and spent a day there before driving south to Antakya. Gaziantep is Turkey’s perhaps top gastronomic destination, and somewhat incredibly this was my first visit there. I only had 24 hours, but still managed to have the best ali nazik and baklava of my life.
I’ll certainly return to both Gaziantep and Hatay in future newsletters, once I’ve had a chance to digest the experience and put more proper words to them.
In the meantime, I leave you this week with a few recipes to help make your everyday dinners a little more exciting as we head into autumn season.
With warm wishes from Istanbul,
This soup is filling, warming and the perfect base for using any leftover vegetables in your fridge. Enjoy with bread and a generous squeeze of lemon.
A stew traditional to South-Eastern Turkey that I first learned of from the wonderful Özlem Warren of Özlem’s Turkish Table. Spices help elevate this amazing combination of vegetables and lentils for a real vegetarian treat.
Uyghur cuisine may not be world famous, but their signature dish is a wonderful combination of Central Asian, Turkic and Chinese influence. Hand pulled noodles are the star of a classic lagman, but this cheat’s version with dried noodles is also very, very good.
One of the simplest and most enjoyable everyday dishes you can have in your repertoire. This version may be Turkish, but you’d be forgiven for thinking this could belong anywhere in the Mediterranean.
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Chicken with dates & olives
A tray bake that’s bursting with flavours with inspiration from across the Middle East. Sweet dates and savoury olives is a killer combination with chicken. All I need with this is a big bowl of salad and – if I feel like it – some fresh bread.
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With best wishes from Istanbul,