Meze Turkish Menu

Recipes and Menu by Vashon Sarkisian.

Meze or small dishes are favorites at Turkish cafes and restaurants. Here are some macrobiotic versions of popular Turkish cuisine.

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts & Mint

Beans Stewed with Garlic & Olive Oil

Black Olive Spread on Pita Bread

Poached Dried Apricots with Tofu Whipped Cream and Pistachios

Tofu Whipped Cream

 

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts & Mint
(makes approximately 24 leaves)

1 1/4 cups brown rice
4 medium onions, grated
3 tablespoons currants
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bunch mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Juice of 8 lemons
2 teaspoons allspice
1 bunch parsley, chopped
24 grape leaves

Soak rice in warm water for 1/2 hour, wash and drain. Heat oil in saucepan. Add onions, pine nuts and cook for 5 minutes. Add rice and cook additional 5 minutes. Add pinch sea salt, currants and hot water. Stir once and cover. Cook over low heat until water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Add spices, herbs and juice of 4 lemons. Allow to cool. Boil grapes leaves in 2 cups boiling water for 2 minutes. (Grape leaves can be purchased at a Middle Eastern store or the ethnic section of a large grocery store.) Drain and stuff with 1 heaping teaspoon of stuffing mixture, folding leaves inward as you roll. Place stuffed grape leaves side by side in a saucepan. Pour juice of 4 lemons and 1 cup water over leaves, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until leaves are tender. Remove and cool.

Beans Stewed with Garlic & Olive Oil

2 cups dried lima beans (or other beans such as Navy, Pinto or Kidney)
5 cups water
6 to 8 inches of kombu
2 cups onions, chopped
6 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 cup parley, chopped
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Soak beans in water in 5 cups water for several hours.
2. Add kombu and cook for 1/2 hours
3. In skillet heat olive oil and sauté onions, garlic till onions are cooked.
4. Add tomatoes and cook for additional 5 minutes.
6. Cool until room temperature and add parsley, lemon juice and serve.

Black Olive Spread on Pita Bread

1 1/4 cups black olives
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onions, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Pit olives and chop.
2. Sauté all ingredients in olive oil until onions are clear and tender.
3. Spread mixture on pita bread or slices of hearty bread.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve.

Poached Dried Apricots with Tofu Whipped Cream and Pistachios

6 oz. dried apricots
1/4 - 1/2 cup rice syrup
1/2 cup tofu cream
3 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
ground unsalted pistachios


Add rice syrup to water and bring to boil. Add apricots and simmer gently for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, saving syrup and chill in fridge until cool. Boil syrup for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, cool and chill. Fill apricots with tofu cream, drizzle with chilled apricot syrup. Sprinkle ground pistachios on each apricot.

Tofu Whipped Cream

4 oz. tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons rice syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend all ingredients until smooth in blender, about 5 minutes.

Vashon Sarkisian is a regular cooking instructor at Harriet's Kitchen in Winter Park, Florida. She has been the president of the Macrobiotic Foundation of Central Florida. She is a land planner and designs communities using "New Urbanism" and "Feng Shui" principles for an engineering and planning firm in the Orlando area. She is currently married to Patrick McCarty and pregnant with their first child.