Author: Namie

Humble Delights: Garlic and Onion Scapes

When I got back home after 2 weeks’ absence, I was delighted to see my plants still healthy. This wine bottle watering system really worked! The bottle was still half full and the soil was wet. Now I don’t need to worry about plants when going on a holiday, yeah! I’ve created a few dishes this week and some turned out really amazing. I can’t wait to share them with you. But for today, I’ll share some tricks you can do with humble garlic and onion scapes you probably see a lot these days. When I see the scapes at the market, my knew-jerk reaction is ‘PICKLE’~! This salty, tangy and sweet pickle is a delight at a meal.  But instead of garlic scapes, I’ve been seeing a lot of onion scapes. Did I miss them while I was away?? I bought the scapes anyway and pickled some of them since I couldn’t eat them all. I threw in some fresh green garlic cloves as well. When pickled, they develop a different flavour. I’ll start eating them after 2 weeks …

Foodie Trip to Belgrade, Serbia: Discovering the Wines of Balkans

The last two weeks were a little hectic so I couldn’t blog, sorry! First, I’ll fill you in on my foodie trip to Belgrade. The surprise trip helped to refresh my head and relieve my cravings for food and wine. Let’s be honest, no one would consider Serbia as a foodie destination so my expectation was low, but we had a great time, eating and drinking for 5 days. The city was relaxing yet exciting, and the people welcoming. Everyone we stopped to ask for directions spoke English. Serbian food was all about meat, yes, but good meat, the juicy smokey meatballs! It itself served the purpose of going there since we’re quite deprived of meat in Turkey, especially pork. It was so ubiquitous that our pork-shy friend was left choiceless sometimes. We spoiled ourselves with all kinds of meat including venison, believing that not eating vegetables and salads for 5 days wouldn’t do any harm to humans, and it was a holiday after all. In case anything happened, there was Rakija to fix all health related issues so we had nothing to worry. Rakija actually surprised me big time. …

stuffed artichoke

Stuffed Artichokes with Shrimps and Peas

Artichokes! It’s that time of the year again. Since last year, I’ve been buying whole artichokes, not only the bottoms, and enjoying stuffing them with various ingredients. This time, I decided to stuff them with peas and shrimps. The peas, which tend to appear all around the year in the west, are a seasonal delicacy. So it becomes a family sport to shell kilos of them for freezing. I often see a woman or husband and wife or a mum and a kid or bearded manly men sitting around the table and shelling the peas outside small restaurants. In my house, peeling garlic and shelling peas or nuts is hubby’s job. I would then freeze some to use for the next few months. It might sound tedious but it’s quite relaxing and even romantic when you do it together! While hubby was working at the peas, I prepared the artichokes. I usually trim them before boiling but this time I boiled them first before scraping out the hairy choke with a spoon. I think it was easier this way so I’ll stick to this method. Don’t throw …

edirne

Weekend Break in Edirne: Food, Horses and Arda Winery

Hubby and I visited Edirne over the Easter weekend and came home with enough wine and cheese. It was a breeze to drive there from Canakkale and I’ve found some foodie secrets. But before food, let’s get over and done with the much-talked-about sight, Selimiye Mosque. There are three mosques surrounding the main square including Üç Şerefeli(three balconies) Mosque with three minarets in a unique Seljuk style. Selimiye Mosque… commissioned by Selim the Drunkard, is the magnificent masterpiece of Mimar Sinan. Yes, it was grand and different in style, the most distinctive feature being the 8 pillars, instead of the usual 4, supporting the gigantic dome, which surpassed that of Hagia Sophia in the diameter. Sadly, my food lens failed to take it all in. One of many myths about the mosque is the reversed tulip carved on one of the marble stands, and if you’re curious, look for it while admiring the intricate paintings and motifs. Another myth is that when you first arrive in the city from the Istanbul direction, you can only see two minarets(towers) and all four become visible as you …

tambuli indian nettle

Tambuli with Stinging Nettle and Green Garlic – Spring Healthy Treat

Nettle pesto, Nettle soup, Nettle frittata, Nettle ravioli.… running out of ideas? I’ve been enjoying this easy recipe ever since my Indian guest taught me his grandmother’s recipe. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t met this dish until then even though I’d been an avid eater of Indian food. Often, some dishes we eat everyday don’t get a spotlight because they are so common and humble. Don’t you think? Whenever there’s something green. I tend to whizz it all up with fragrant cumin seeds, peppercorns, curry leaves, yogurt and coconut. How can such a simple dish be so delicious, satisfying and comforting all at the same time? If you haven’t made this, I hope you’ll start making it because it’s so good and addictive. Whenever I go to the market, I come home with wild greens. I just can’t help myself. How am I going to eat all this?! I’ll make our family recipe, nettle borek, when hubby comes home, but for the time being, I thought I’d make a quick tambuli for lunch. I’ll explain how to …

Spring Tradition: Goat Kid Caul Fat with Liver and Fennel (Ciğer Sarması)/ Firriato Wine

Spring is all round and farmers’ markets are once again vibrant with the colours and smells of spring. Despite my ongoing laments for Turkey’s lack of gastronomy, one thing I did miss while I was in London was this fresh seasonal local produce. All the wild plants started to come out, wild asparagus, fennel, ebegumeci, stinging nettles and what not. I’ve written an article about Turkish wild plants for Koreans since they are very keen eaters of wild plants. I might replicate it in English this spring. Anyway, I put together a classic tasting platter using the goodies I’d brought; Jambon Iberico with Asparagus and Brie, Smoked Salmon with Fennel and Avocado. Yummy as always… In my in-laws’ house, on the other hand, a different culinary tradition was happening. The Thracian region has a tradition of eating lamb liver but Canakkale has a very special delicacy, which is eaten once a year in spring months. Goat Kid… That tradition is the consequence of goat dairy production and, as the article says, it’s better to use it rather than waste it. I tasted kid meat for the first time 2 …