If nobody looks at this post tonight, I won’t blame you. Our beloved Turkey is in a desperate plight and the uncertainty of its future is hanging heavily over us.
But here I am in our village house in Assos by the Aegean with hubby TT and son Cem. It is totally coincidental that we should be here and not back in Istanbul: the three of us are following events as they happen via all the social media at our disposal.
Nonetheless, I would like to propose a wonderful, easy recipe for you to try. Seasonal since it involves purslane or semizotu which is just appearing, and just a few extra, rather interesting, ingredients for a dressing.
It comes from Didem Şenol‘s book Aegean Flavours.
You should know that Didem Şenol is the hottest name in town right now: her restaurant Lokanta Maya in Karaköy is packed out.
I try to book for people on my walking tours, and invariably am told that it is booked out and to try again in two days’ time!
Why is she so popular? Because she is using seasonal market produce in very different ways.
Up until now, Turkish cuisine was unchallenged: everything had its place and its usage and that was that. Now, there is a vibrant nouvelle Turkish cuisine, challenging exactly this, and very welcome it is too.
Purslane Salad with Tahini and Hazelnuts
- Soak and then rinse the purslane thoroughly and place in a sieve to dry. Make sure to remove the thick stems.
- Beat the tahini, lemon juice, crushed garlic, cumin, red pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Add a bit of olive oil and bring the mixture to the consistency of a sauce. If it is too thick, thin with a few drops water.
- Bake the hazelnuts at 150 degrees C for 15 mins and then chop. You can use a pestle and mortar which is what I used. Don’t make them too fine. BAKING THEM MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE! WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T SKIP THIS STAGE!
- Mix the dried purslane with the sauce in a deep bowl. Add the hazelnuts and mix once again, then transfer the salad to a larger bowl or several individual bowls, and serve.
It’s delicious and at the same time, unusual. I recommend it highly. Semiz otu with a difference. I suggest you mix the dressing ingredients to taste rather than worrying too much about these tiny amounts.