A Turkish Feast

Turkish flavours, Alberta style

I spent a few weeks in Turkey this spring, a wonderful introduction to this agricultural paradise.

We ate what was in season: truckloads of watermelon and canteloupe; just-picked tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, peppers of every colour, size and shape imaginable; herbs, grown wild and sold by rural women in the market in large rush baskets; grilled fish and meatballs; mild white cheeses (all called feta), thick and delicious yogurt.

How to bring it home? Many Turkish dishes are cooked quickly over an open fire, which easily translates to our barbecue culture.

This menu interprets delicious Turkish flavours and methods of preparation using foods now in season here.

Start with a selection of mezes: dips and spreads; an assortment of olives; hummus, your own, or one from a farmers’ market (we love Happy Planet’s); and a tasty eggplant dip from Sofra Restaurant. Continue with fresh salads, grilled chicken or fish and, of course, meatballs made with Alberta lamb. Everything can be cooked on the grill, making kitchen cleanup a snap.

End with fresh fruit, Turkish coffee or tea and Raki, the national anise-based spirit, for a truly Turkish feast.

By Mary Bailey.


The Tomato editor Mary Bailey is a fan of her Weber charcoal kettle grill… that has never been stolen; it was just hidden under the plants.