Turkish Delights


Koftas with rice and vegetables Serves Four

Prep and cook time: 40 min

Cooking time approx.: 25 min

Difficulty: easy

Ingredients Method

250g long grain rice

2 tbsp pine nuts

2 tbsp slivered almonds

2 tbsp olive oil

2 peppers yellow and red, chopped

3 shallots, 2 cut into wedges 1 finely chopped 

1 courgette halved lengthways and sliced

2 to 3 carrots, sliced

4 tomatoes peeled and chopped 

100ml dry white wine

1/2 tsp nigella seeds

800g minced lamb

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 handful parsley, leaves finely chopped

2 sprigs oregano

leaves finely chopped

1 egg

breadcrumbs, as needed

cumin, ground

olive oil for brushing

pul biber, for sprinkling

1 Boil the rice with twice the volume of salted water, covered, for around 25 minutes until cooked.

2 In a hot frying pan, toast the pine nuts and almonds until golden.

3 Heat two tbsp oil in a separate pan and fry the peppers, shallot wedges, courgette and carrots for two to three minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine and season with nigella seeds, salt and ground black pepper. Simmer for around five minutes until cooked. Check the seasoning and keep warm.

4 Put the minced lamb, garlic, shallot, herbs and egg in a bowl and mix together well. Add breadcrumbs if necessary so that the mixture holds its shape. Season with salt, cumin and ground black pepper.

5 Shape the mixture into 12 to 16 balls and thread onto wooden skewers. Press onto the skewer well to make a slightly elongated shape. Brush with oil and grill on a hot barbecue on all sides for six to eight minutes.

6 Stir the pine nuts and almonds through the rice and arrange on plates and in bowls with the koftas. Serve sprinkled with pul biber.

Tomato salad with mint Serves Four


Prep and cook time: 15 min

Difficulty: easy

Ingredients Method

1 kg mixed tomatoes, assorted sizes (yellow and red), cut in half, wedges or slices depending on size

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

4 tbsp olive oil

1 handful herbs, mint and parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp pul biber

1 Mix the different tomatoes together and arrange on plates.

2 Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and ground black pepper and check the seasoning. Drizzle over the tomato salad and scatter the herbs on top. Season with pul biber and serve.

Baklava Twelve Pieces


Prep and cook time: 40 min

Baking time approx: 30 min

Difficulty: medium

Ingredients Method

350g yufka pastry sheets, or filo pastry

2 egg whites

2 to 3 tbsp honey

300g almonds, peeled and finely ground

ground cinnamon

1 to 2 tsp rosewater

80g melted butter

125g sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 Carefully separate the sheets of pastry and cover with a damp cloth.

2 Heat the oven to 220°C (200°C in a fan oven), 425°F, gas 7.

3 Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold in the honey, almonds, a pinch of cinnamon and the rosewater.

4 Line a rectangular dish (approx 20×25 cm) with grease-proof paper and brush with butter. Place three to four sheets of pastry in the dish, lining the base and sides. Brush each sheet with butter as you lay them. Spoon in the almond mixture and smooth flat. Top with the remaining sheets of pastry in several layers, brushing each layer with butter.

5 Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.

6 Meanwhile, bring the sugar to the boil in a saucepan with 125 ml water and simmer for one minute, then remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the lemon juice.

7 Take the cooked baklava out of the oven and, while still hot, gradually pour over the syrup, allowing it to soak in. Leave to cool completely, then cut into diamonds and serve.