I mentioned I’ve been away on holiday visiting my brother Tolga’s fiance, Ece’s family in the small bay of Selimiye in the southern part of Turkey.
They own a boutique hotel there, called Kekik Butik Otel (which means ‘oregano’, it grows naturally everywhere there and I got to pick some up) and it is the best place to leave the city behind and get a little bit of peace. I honestly felt awkward when we got back to city and saw more than 2 cars together.
I got to relax, swim and even had a chance to go hiking. Another highlight was the awesome cooking our hostess Misket prepared. I have only few of their pictures but hope you’ll like them too.
Here are some of the dishes:
This is unfortunately the only dish I have that is pictured step-by-step.
- Tahini (preferable separated from natural oils)
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil (naturally separated from the tahini)
- Lemon juice
Boil the chickpeas before starting to prepare the dish. Take tahini that is separated from its natural sesame oil and crush with a fork to get it into a smooth texture. You can gradually add sesame oil to help the process. Add the tahini to the chickpeas with cumin, salt and a little lemon juice. Process the mixture with a hand blender (or in a food processor if you wish) . Taste the mixture time to time, the secret is to make the whole thing a little bit too lemony, says our other host Bulent.
They had freshly caught Dusky Grouper while we were there and we had it steamed in the pizza oven with vegetables!
Amazing oven grilled octopus with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice sauce.
Potato salad with red onions and mustard dressing.
White beans are one of the most used ingredients in Turkish cuisine. This bean Pilaki is one of the most known dishes, it’s made with olive oil specifically and eaten cold.
In the awesome kitchen of the hotel, my dad had his fun too. This, according to him, is the best salad to accompany seafood. It has finely chopped rockets, fresh mint, parsley with lemon juice and olive oil dressing in it.
This is just an ordinary salad but what fascinated me was the little touches. Like the grated frozen lemon here. Just a normal lemon frozen as a whole and grated over salads. It really is amazing how much it gives its acidic effect.
Salads take a lot of room in Turkish cuisine and we had more than one type of salad almost every night.
This one is a particularly good one, I will give the recipe for this separately later on.
This was my plate just one of the nights. You can see the different side dishes that are called meze.
- Aubergine salad made with roasted aubergines & red peppers, garlic, onion and parsley.
- Turkish style rice (pilav) with vermicelli.
- Homemade hummus
- Carrot Tarator with carrots, garlic, walnuts and, of course, yogurt.
- Home style kofte (meatballs)
- Black-eyed-bean salad
- The best part of the rice, the dried bits stuck to the pan.
If you ever in the area you must go and say hi to them, it really was an awesome trip. Enjoy!