When I was a kid, I used to think that some dishes could only be made by certain family members. For example, there was a black tea cake that I believed only my mother could bake. Turkish dumplings, I thought only my mother and aunt could make so delicious. And then there was this pastry which I believed could only be baked by my aunt, my father’s sister, as if there was something magical or that the trick was in her oven or something. Turns out, I was wrong. You just need to learn.
About a month ago I bought a 5 kg bucket of tahini. The amount of hummus or any other Mediterranean / Middle Eastern dip I made for my caterings that contains tahini exceeded all sorts of expectations and in the end when I saw that huge bucket, I just took it. And I already used more than half of it! And so here is one more dip / spread with tahini for you today. For this one, tahini meets butternut squash.
I didn’t use to like goat cheese at all. I couldn’t stand the smell and I got genuinely upset when it appeared in my food. But then a few years ago I did Rachel Khoo’s salty cake that had goat cheese in it among other things and my perception of goat cheese changed overnight!
My aunt used to bake the best version of this cake. Moist chocolate cake… It was one of my favourite cakes when I was a kid. In later years I forgot about it, until suddenly I woke up one day a few weeks ago and I immediately craved for this cake. It could be because I miss my aunt and five o’clock tea time in her home in Istanbul…
I love simple tastes and the pleasure that comes from them. Preparing a tartine, aka open sandwich, is a very easy task – even when there is a variety of ingredients involved. And the result, particularly with a good quality bread, is exquisite.
I love salty cakes and I always think of new ingredient combinations for salty cakes. The first time I heard of the idea of a salty cake was when I watched Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen programme. Until then, the idea of a cake was always very sweet for me. But… not anymore!
As I am writing this blogpost, I am eating one of these soft, puffy, melting-in-the-mouth buns and remembering my childhood. Most of my best memories back in Turkey involve food or are around food, and these buns bring out some of them.
I sometimes feel like Bugs Bunny – I cannot get enough of carrots. Then, for a while I completely forget about carrots, after that I remember again.. I generally like to make a simple salad with raw carrots and tomatoes: I just grate carrots, chop tomatoes and bring them together with a bit of salt, olive oil and lemon juice. This recipe though, is a whole new thing for me.
There are 3 dishes in my life that the word “shakshouka” has been associated with since my childhood. And they all point to different parts of my life.
I must admit that I was slightly suspicious about the idea of “hot hummus” when I first saw a recipe in the mezze cookbook I bought in Istanbul last summer. I am not a big fan of hummus anyway, but when it’s hot, I thought it might feel too heavy. Oh boy, was I wrong.. Not only it is light, but also it is so delicious that I could probably eat the whole pot when I first made it.