All posts tagged: seasonal

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 …

semolina cake

Healthy Semolina Coconut Revani with Grapefruit Syrup – Tricks for Moist No-Sugar Cake

Yes, the title is correct. If you love the classic Revani soaked in a pool of syrup, it’s great! Otherwise, you’d be pleased to learn that you can replicate the decadent dessert without sugar yet as delicious as the original, which can be also healthy. You don’t believe me? Then, read on. I say healthy because semolina is indeed more nutritious and tastier than normal flour. But the problem of baking with semolina is the gritty and dry texture it creates. So syrup is crucial in making it moist but the dense and heavy taste isn’t for my palate. After several trials and errors, this is the best version that everyone loved. You might consider adding this to your Easter table if you want something traditional but with a modern twist. It’s light and moist without compromising the taste, though Revani would turn in his grave seeing his favourite quintessential Middle Eastern dessert being adulterated. Who is Revani? It’s said to be named after the 16th century Ottoman poet, Revani, who was the governor of …

pumpkin tortellini

Pumpkin Leek Tortellini with Duck Ragu

Finally comes the duck story… And I’m afraid yet delighted that you’ll hear more duck stories this winter. How come? Well, I’m spreading the duck spirits around me and so many people are eager to eat more of the delicacy. Leading up to the last day of my sejour at the winery, I was thinking hard everyday about the duck: how and when to cook it.  Sensing the accumulated anticipation of almost two months, I decided to get the task over and done with. Originally, it was destined for Duck a l’Orange, but I incorporated a Chinese Peking Duck method by adding more herbs and oriental spices such as star anise and cinnamon, and also by drying out the skin for crispiness. The warm aromas had the effect of stimulating a holiday mood as well. After resting in the fridge overnight, rubbed with salt and spices, it was ready for the oven the next morning. Despite some unexpected events, I managed to cook it for as long as 2.5 hours. The tough parts, the wings …

baked fig

Baked Fresh Fig, Cheese, Lavender Filo Pie

Morning air is getting crisper and I watch the vine leaves changing their colour everyday. I have no idea how fast summer has slipped away without having a proper swim! Despite the hectic daily routines at the winery, I thought I’d be respectful of those who are wondering about my whereabouts and waiting for delicious stories. I’m far from my kitchen and real life, and am living a dream life. I’ve lived through the full ripening seasons here and the harvest has started and the daily work leaves me little time to go online. I’ve learned and am still learning a lot and I’ll share my experiences here once the most important part of the harvest ends. Are the figs still around? Before coming back to the winery for harvest, I had a short break at home. Whenever I’m back, I just dive into the kitchen and get cooking, though there’s no one else to eat with. Farmers markets and streets were full of figs and other forest fruits that show up for a short …

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 …