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 Turkish cuisine:  Best Turkish summer food:

As the summer season begins, the foods of Turkish restaurants also change. In summer, fried vegetables are the main food in Turkey, vegetables include especially eggplant, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes pepper, and potatoes are served with yogurt sauce. The Turkish people like halva as dessert which contains less amount of sugar.
Turkey has some of the most delicious summer dishes in the world, and you can make many of these delicious foods at home.
The following are most common summer foods of Turkish cuisine.

Menemon (food):

Menemon is a famous Turkish summer food same as shakshouka. This dish is mostly served in breakfast with bread. To make the dish diced tomatoes, onions (sautéed with heated oil), sucuk (dried salami like sausage), and white cheese are used.

Ingredients

The primary ingredients of menemen include:
• Eggs: Typically, 2-4 eggs are used per serving.
• Tomatoes: Fresh, ripe tomatoes are preferred. They are usually peeled and chopped.
• Green Peppers: Turkish green peppers are ideal, but any mild green pepper can be substituted.
• Onions: Optional, but often included to add sweetness and depth of flavor.
• Olive Oil or Butter: Used for sautéing the vegetables.
• Spices: Commonly includes salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Some variations might also add cumin or oregano.
• Optional Additions: Cheese (such as feta), sucuk (Turkish sausage), or pastırma (cured beef) can be added for extra richness.

Poached egg (Cilbir):

Cilbir is a Turkish word that is used for one egg dish in Turkey. This dish has been the favourite food of the Ottoman sultans since the 15th century. In many countries, such as Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia čimbur word is used for this dish. In Turkey, eggs, ginger, vinegar, butter, salt, and pepper are used to make this dish. It is one of the most easily prepared and famous food in Turkish restaurants.

Ingredients

1. For the Poached Eggs:
o Eggs
o Water
o Vinegar (optional, to help coagulate the egg whites)
2. For the Yogurt Base:
o Thick plain yogurt (Greek-style yogurt works well)
o Garlic, minced or crushed
o Salt
3. For the Spiced Butter Sauce:
o Butter
o Red pepper flakes (Aleppo pepper is traditional, but any mild red pepper flakes can be used)
o Paprika (optional)
o Fresh or dried herbs such as dill, mint, or parsley (optional)

Stuffed squash blossoms:

In Turkey cuisine, this dish is made from squash blossoms, is known as a stuffed squash blossoms dish. Squash flowers are readily available in Mediterranean markets. Squash flowers have to break before sunrise because they later wither from the heat of the sun. This dish is made with egg yolk, chopped mint, grated parmigiana, and all-purpose flour.

Ingredients

The primary ingredients for stuffed squash blossoms include:
1. Squash Blossoms: Freshly picked blossoms are the key ingredient. They should be bright, intact, and free from any wilting or damage.
2. Filling: Common fillings include a mixture of cheeses (like ricotta, mozzarella, or goat cheese), herbs (such as basil, mint, or parsley), garlic, and sometimes anchovies or prosciutto. For a Mexican variation, the filling might include ingredients like queso fresco, epazote, and sometimes sautéed onions or chilies.
3. Batter (Optional): Many recipes call for a light batter made from flour, water, and sometimes eggs, used for coating the blossoms before frying.
4. Oil: For frying, typically olive oil or a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil is used.
5. Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and occasionally lemon zest or nutmeg to enhance the flavors.

Yalanci dolma (fake dolma):

In Middle Eastern cuisine, Yalanci dolma is common. It literally means “stuffed in Turkish”. This is considered an important summer food because it refreshes the palate. It is also called fake dolma because this uses rice and pine instead of meat. This dish is made with vine leaves, chopped onions, Chopped dill, fresh spearmint, olive oil, pepper, and lemons.

Ingredients

For the Filling:
• Rice (typically short-grain or medium-grain, like Baldo rice)
• Onions (finely chopped)
• Olive oil
• Pine nuts
• Currants or raisins
• Fresh herbs (parsley, dill, mint)
• Spices (allspice, cinnamon, black pepper)
• Tomato paste (optional)
• Salt
• Lemon juice (for added tanginess)
For the Wrapping:
• Grape leaves (fresh or preserved in brine)
• Lemon slices (for garnish and added flavor)
• Extra virgin olive oil (for cooking)

Kisir:

The word Kisir is especially known as a salad. But in Turkey cuisine, it serves as a dish. This dish is made with a bulger (cereal food which originates in West Asian cuisine), parsley, tomato, olive oil, and lemon juice. This dish is similar to cig kofte.

Ingredients

The primary ingredients of kisir include:
• Bulgur: Fine bulgur is preferred for its quick cooking time and texture. It forms the base of the dish.
• Tomato Paste: Adds a rich, tangy flavor and vibrant color to the salad.
• Pepper Paste: Often used in Turkish cuisine, it can be either mild or spicy and adds depth to the dish.
• Olive Oil: Used to blend and enhance the flavors.
• Lemon Juice: Provides a fresh, tangy taste.
• Pomegranate Molasses: Sometimes added for a sweet and tangy flavor (optional).
• Onions: Usually spring onions or finely chopped regular onions.
• Garlic: Adds a pungent aroma and flavor.
• Tomatoes: Fresh, chopped tomatoes contribute to the salad’s juiciness and freshness.
• Cucumbers: Adds crunch and freshness.
• Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is a key herb in kisir, providing a burst of color and flavor.
• Mint: Fresh mint leaves are often included for their refreshing taste.
• Spices: Common spices include cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Cacik:

‘Cacik’ (JAH’-Juck) is a simple dish. This dish is used in Turkey as a summer cold dish. The ingredients needed to make this dish are cucumbers, virgin olive oil, yogurt, dried drill, fresh mint leaves, chopped garlic, and black pepper. Cacik is served before or after your meal or with different dishes like meatballs, kofte, kebab, etc.

Ingredients

1. Yogurt: The base of cacık is typically plain, full-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt can also be used for a thicker consistency.
2. Cucumber: Fresh cucumbers are finely chopped or grated. In some variations, they are peeled, while in others, they are left unpeeled for added texture and color.
3. Garlic: Fresh garlic is minced or crushed to add a robust flavor.
4. Herbs: Common herbs include fresh dill, mint, and sometimes parsley. These add a fresh, aromatic element to the dish.
5. Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is often added for richness and flavor.
6. Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice may be added for a touch of acidity.
7. Salt and Pepper: These are used to season the cacık to taste.

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