Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nar Recipes

For all the things I stock up on and bring back to Turkey with me each time I travel, nar ekşisi is the one thing I always pack to bring with me on trips back home. I've written before about this thick, syrupy pomegranate syrup that is sweet and sour at the same time and has the power to transform a dish from ordinary into extraordinary; but my friends keep asking me what they should do with it. Here are two simple ways to incorporate nar ekşisi into your diet.

Arugula Salad:
  • Wash and dry fresh arugula (roka) leaves; chop leaves into one-inch lengths and discard stems.
  • Chop heirloom (yerli) tomatoes and crush garlic (crush, do not chop!).
  • Toss the vegetables with olive oil, nar ekşisi, salt, black pepper and isot (a dark sun dried pepper) and serve.

Turkish Tabouleh:
  • Measure and pour fine bulgur into a pot or other sealable container; a good rule of thumb is one Turkish tea glass of dry bulgur per person. You want to use köftelik bulgur as opposed to one of the coarser grinds.
  • Pour boiling water over it just to cover, and immediately drain off excess water; cover and let stand.
  • Finely chop parsley, fresh mint, and any or all of the following: green onion, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, bulb onion, red cabbage, carrot. The key is that everything should be chopped extremely finely. If for the same volume of veggies as you have bulgur. Set aside the veggies.
  • Uncover your bulgur; it should be soft and plump. Add a tablespoon or two of salça, or red pepper paste (or, if you can't find it, tomato paste) and begin to work it into the bulgur with your fingertips. Add black pepper, salt and cumin to taste; add the juice of at least one lemon and some olive oil and drizzle nar ekşisi all over. Add the reserved vegetables and stir it all together.
  • Can be served with whole leaves of Romaine lettuce, which you fill with tabbouleh and bite into!

"Kısır" is a couscous salad from Tur...Image via Wikipedia

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