I had a box of turkish delight and some turkish tea from Istanbul, so that seemed like a good theme for a dinner party… while trying to shoehorn in whatever vegetables I got in the CSA. A range of vegetarian mezzes:
- Kalamata olives (greek, I know)
- Watermelon radish pickles (three days in rice vinegar, a little sugar, meyer lemon, and mustard seed — it turned the brine red). This isn’t at all Turkish, I just had so many pounds of radish to deal with… and I’d planned to put some powdered sumac on it to have it fill the raw-onions-with-sumac appetizer role in many turkish meals, but forgot.
- Turkish black tea (5 minutes in a french press, served in the specific fluted glasses and saucers they use in Turkey, which I’d impulsively picked up in the airport).
- Anchovies, from a can
- Homemade whole wheat lavash bread, based on an arbitrarily chosen internet recipe but quite successful (1 packet yeast proofed in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, then 3/4 cup more water added, and this added to 2 cups white-whole-wheat flour w/ 1 tsp salt, mixed into sticky dough, kneaded (more flour needed), coated heavily in olive oil and set to rise in a warm place for an hour, punched down, rolled thin, some sesame seeds sifted on top, then cooked on a medium-heat griddle for a few minutes on each side). There was a surprisingly big difference between the perfect fresh-off-the-stove lavash and even the 30-minutes-off-the-stove texture and taste (it became chewy and tough).
- Roasted parsnips (30-40 minutes at 425F in olive oil, salt, black pepper, turning once) mixed with lots of fresh mint
- Cacik (pronounced something like jay-juhk): Greek yogurt diluted with perhaps 25% water to thin it out, cucumber, fresh mint, coarse salt, olive oil
- An attempt at Kısır (pronounced kih-sish), a Turkish salad in the same vein as tabouleh: 2 Tbsp tomato paste and a Nora chili mixed into 2 1/2 cups of hot water, poured over 2 cups dry bulgur to soak for 15+ minutes, then olive oil, a Tbsp pomegranate syrup (strong), lime juice, and a whole bunch of minced fresh parsley added, and served over sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Plus lots of black pepper. While some people said this was their favorite, I thought it was missing something, and maybe the bulgur should have been further cooked and chilled? Hmm.
- “Harem’s Delight” brand Turkish Delight, pomegranate flavored.
And of course, a few fine beers: Upright Flora Rustica (with spring yarrow and calendula — floral, interesting, and pretty good this time, not gone-bad like the last bottle), Allagash Hugh Malone Belgian IPA (slightly fruity, huge head, an interesting hop taste that I couldn’t place, nice [edit: more info from the Allagash web site]), and a saved bottle of Almanac summer blackberry ale from a friend (a bit more acidic and less blackberry-distinctive than it was originally, unfortunately).