Thursday, August 23, 2012
Turkish cuisine offers a slew of marvelous ingredients that in the loving hands of a Turkish mama turn into exquisitely heart-warming treats.
Take for example salted olives, provocatively called in French à la mode grecoise. Those are black olives in salt, full stop. On their own, they are definitely an acquired taste: a complex mix of tart and salty, rich in flavour, lacking in fragrance, and somewhat on the dry skinny side.
Now the task is to imagine oneself a Turkish mater familiae and think how to bring out olives' strengths and make good for their weaknesses. This is my take.
I peel and slice thinly one head of garlic, part a lemon with its rind and crush a handful of dried sage. I fold all that into a 200 ml olive oil, shake well and mix with 1 kg black salted olives in a glass jar. Let stay in a cool place, NOT in the fridge, for a couple of days, to allow all the flavours to fuse. Serve with Turkish bread, grilled halloumi cheese, sliced ripe tomatoes and whatever Mediterranean dainties you can get hold of.