The house is quiet. Eva and her parents have gone. But the sweet memory of the BBQ that we had for TT’s birthday just a few days ago lives on. Of course, the maestro at the BBQ was SIL who was an even greater hero because he had driven the 5 hours down from Istanbul that very morning.
But we had conferred: he said he would be happy to do it and for TT, it was his favourite option for what to do that evening.
So what was my contribution going to be? I – with Eva’s eager help – made the cake, the famous chocolate cake that is always a surefire success and sure enough, it was. Eva does enjoy her cake!
I was on the verge of making simple roasted vegetables in the oven. You know, you chop everything into suitably sized wedges, drizzle with olive oil, season, and roast. The manzara as they say, the ‘view’, is impressive and the taste at this time of year with all those veggies, is delicious. Then I thought, I know, let’s make veggie kebabs – again the chunks but this time on a skewer and cooked on the barbie. They also look most attractive and of course the extra taste that the barbecue gives, is a great incentive.
But then I had my brainwave based on various pinterest sightings: let me try this dish of mixed summer vegetables which is baked in the oven. I have long had this dish in mind as I think it looks just fab: all those colours, all those wonderful seasonal vegs carefully sliced so that they are not too thin and not too thick. Now, THIS really looks impressive so very suitable for the birthday celebration!
So this is what I did and a) it couldn’t have been more straightforward, or b) tastier. Just the kind of dish I like. Perfect for vegetarians too. Make sure you allow enough time for all those veg to cook through.
The amounts are approximate so you can adjust to the size of your dish/the size of your crowd. Arranging them in an attractive fan pattern makes the whole dish very attractive.
fresh thyme sprigs if available/OR dried thyme/kekik
seasoning to taste
½ cup grated parmesan or cheddar – I used eski kaşar
I happened to have one solitary green pepper/yeşil dolmalık biber in the fridge which I included, as you can see in the photos.
- Basically, heat the oven to 200C/375F and lightly grease your ovenproof dish with olive oil.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the sliced onion until translucent. Then add the crushed garlic and cook a few minutes more.
- Transfer to your prepared dish.
- Slice your washed vegetables as in the photo. The slices should be equal in width. Arrange side by side in a tight spiral pattern as far as you can. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Don’t forget the thyme, either fresh or dried. Cover with cooking foil. Cook in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes and then remove the foil. Sprinkle the dish with the grated cheese and replace in the oven without the foil. Bake for a further 30 minutes or so.
- Remove from the oven and let sit. This dish retains its heat very well so no pressure to serve immediately.
We also made a patlıcan salatası with yogurt and garlic, grilling the aubergines on the barbecue to get that wonderful smoky taste.
Here is the meat: lamb chops/kuzu pirzola; kül bastı/lamb steaks which I marinated beforehand with herbs from the garden, that SIL grilled to perfection:
I put in a special request for spicy chicken wings and daughter No 2 found the perfect recipe on BBC Good Food which she often uses as a resource (when she’s not using her mother’s blog!). I’m not putting a link as I am not sure which one she used – I am checking but I can’t see hers as I see ingredients that we didn’t have. But they all sound just yummy. You can’t go wrong with Good Food. Whichever recipe she used, it was exactly what I had in mind: spicy but not too much so!