Traveling through Turkey opened up my eyes (and taste buds) to a brand new world of taste and flavour. I had no idea just how diverse and refined Turkish food was. I guess, like most people had a few dishes I liked, but seeing the vast array of dishes on offer - using a whole new set of ingredients and techniques was beyond exciting.
A Turkish Meze Classic
This Turkish Carrot Salad was first introduced to me at one of the many excellent restaurants in Istanbul. Meze food is a way of life in Turkey and it's quite the revelation. Meze (meaning 'taste' or 'bite') are a series of small plates of food offered before a main course. Much like Spanish Tapas, they're intended to whet the appetite before the REAL eating begins.
Invariably when you're in Turkey meze quickly becomes THE main event! And so it should! The, quite frankly dizzying, array of stunning culinary options on offer are far too delicious to be passed off as anything other than centre stage.
Carrot Salad is just one of the many small plate options you'll be offered - it's a sweet, creamy puree that's the perfect partner to flatbread - scoop after luxurious scoop.
The humble carrot takes centre stage!
Carrot often gets a bad rap and are nearly always a last minute 'make up the numbers' addition to a meal. Here our super healthy, super colourful friend is front and centre! What a treat it is to eat this carrot cooked in this way. Beautifully colourful with a sweet and slightly sour taste to boot. It's time to bring carrot out of the shadows and celebrate them in all their orange splendour! This Turkish carrot recipe couldn't be easier too - nothing taxing - a few simple steps and your delicious carrot dip is ready for bread.
A Turkish inspired dinner meal plan
When creating a Turkish dinner party, how to serve Turkish meze is perfect. Much of the hard work can be done before your guests arrive - then it's just a case of wafting from the kitchen with platter after platter of delicious and stunning food. Here's a great meal plan that would feed 6-10 people (or me, watching TV with a bottle of wine). There are no traditional courses - things can be drip fed at intervals that you get to decide. That's gotta make for the perfect dinner party right?
This recipe is also one of my Best Dips in the Cook Eat World - go find out which others are on the list