All posts tagged: Mediterranean

fava purslane salad

Spring Pick-Me-Up Food: Artichoke, Fava Beans, Purlane

Hello! I’ve been so swamped by study lately due to the crazy commitment I’d taken. The WSET Diploma is far more challenging than I’d thought, demanding a lot of my time. I hope it’ll get a bit easier as the course progresses and I get a better handle on the course frame. After a couple of overseas trips, the realisation how far behind I was in the coursework threw me into panic for a period. While I was catching up on the course materials, May suddenly arrived, making me jittery again. I have a lot going on in May, more travels, and the first exam is in June. So I’ve locked myself at home for the past week, trying to get as much studying as possible done. Today, I finally felt a bit of relief and thought I’d write something up here. In between my study breaks, I still visit the weekly farmers market as it’s impossible to skip! However, these days, when I see lovely seasonal staple veggies, I have to turn away quickly …

Chasing the Season: Sardines Wrapped in Grape Leaves

These days a lot of photos of Ahi Tuna are circulating on social media, teasing me who can’t even get any fish. Commercial fishing is banned from May to September in Turkey to protect fish population. You can still get farmed fish, though. However, I won’t resort to Norwegian farmed salmon, so I’m hanging in there waiting for the healthiest little fish to appear. And they have! But my stubborn FIL keeps saying firmly, “Not tasty yet. Wait till July!”  Ahhh~~~ I know if I’ll be rewarded with big fat sardines if I wait a bit longer. I’m usually great at delayed gratification but not with fish. So one day I decided to risk upsetting him, – he’s very serious about fish – and bought some without telling him. They were not as big as FIL would have liked but still pretty fat. The farmers market is full of goodness. Look at the 5 different kinds of cherries! And here you go, the fresh green chickpeas. This is one of those vegetables that you buy …

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 …

Asparagus New Season Garlic in Polenta Tart Crust

I will have to give a darn good excuse for such a long silence this time, won’t I? What could it be? Yes, I’m getting married..finally!! I’ve been running around for the past 3 weeks – in order of importance – to find the venue, set the date, collect necessary documents and get them notarised, do a medical checkup, which I don’t know what for,  find the wedding dress, and so on. I had no idea what I was putting myself into; it’s quite a lot of work. I was secretly planning for a small intimate event in a winery until I got an absolute ‘NO’ from Mr.O’s parents, and my wedding plan started to shape up in a form completely different to my original ideas. Of course, I was disappointed and they acknowledged it but there is no point in trying to persuade Mr.O’s parents risking disharmony and stress, especially since all guests will be Turks, to whom a wedding is all about dancing. If I’d insisted, the winery wedding could have come true …

Rice Noodles with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Yeah! The cherry price is going down! Guess how much the cherries are here per kilo? I’ll give you a hint…. It’s $29.99 for California cherries in Australia and down to $9.99 in season near Christmas. So here in Turkey? $3 per kilo!! And the price will go down further later. If you’re a cherry devourer like me, it’s good enough a reason to live in Turkey. Actually, I teased my friend the other day by sending a photo of cherries spilling out of the bowl and she was so tempted and traumatised since she loves all kinds of fruit. The cherries won’t be as plentiful as last year because of a few storms that have passed here. I saw the poor cherries fallen off the trees rotting on the ground when I was in the village haven last week. Anyway, I’m enjoying them as much as I can while they last. The apricots will come out followed by sour cherries, etc. When there are fresh veggies and fruit around, why would one bother to …

Authentic Carbonara Sauce Tutorials / Friuli–Venezia Giulia Wine

I came back from the lovely 3-week long holiday, though my mind is still wondering in Jura, and certainly my Jura report is still continuing as you can see. What welcomed my return was delicious surprises gifted from several like-mind people who loves cooking and appreciate good food. I see is as a perk for being a foodie and for having a blog to show to prove it. The generous guests from Italy and Canada each brought such precious gifts for me and Mr.O. The gifts include home-smoked Canadian red salmon, 5 huge pieces of Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, each about 1kg, and some other local cheeses, real Italian pasta, and a white wine from their hometown, Friuli-Venezia Giulia. There was also a bottle of Dhara wild olive oil, a gift from Larissa. I’m grinning ear to ear, looking at all these goodies. Even while in France, I was sent a packet by Pulltex, whose corkscrew I’d been using – I love the chic design. The corscrew is special to me because it was a …