All posts tagged: spring

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 …

Turkish pancake

You say Crumpet, I say Akitma! – Holey Pancake Day Out in Canakkale

One of our family rituals for spring is a visit to MIL’s village to collect some spring food items. The day always starts with the most anticipated breakfast with akitma. It’s meant to be a carb-loading day, which happens only once in a while, so why not just enjoy it? Akitma is a pancake leavened with yeast, which fits somewhere between a pancake, English crumpets and French crepes. The texture and the holey appearance place it very close to English crumpets though. This cross-cultural root of akitma made me look deeper into the history of crumpets, pikelets, pancakes, etc. The fact that akitma is eaten specifically in this Thracian region of Turkey coincides with Bulgarian pancake, ‘katmi‘, though the latter has more eggs. I’m not a food anthropologist but it might be fair to say that akitma is the holy mother of  the later more-refined crumpets in the Victorian era? The more I eat it, the more I appreciate the honeycomb-like holes and spongy texture. Butter, honey, or anything put on it will be trapped in all those tiny …

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 …

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 …

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 …