Saturday, May 30, 2009

Çoban Salata

Çoban SalataWhen Erika, one of my girlfriends, was dating with an Arabic boyfriend, she took me to a Turkish restaurant in Boston. I was very excited because it was the first time for me to taste Turkish food.
“Let’s start with Turkish salad and rice. They are really good, “ she said.
So we started with Çoban (pronounced “tso-ban”) Salata and pilaf. They were supposed to be appetizers. However, after we finished them, we decided to order the same dishes, again. I just fell in love with this simple yet delicious salad. The salad simply consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parsley. But there was some particular spice I could not figure out at that time.

Turkish food is famous for various kinds of spices. That was why I believed the salad had some special spices until just a few weeks ago when I took the first Turkish cooking class. Unexpectedly, the menu was Çoban Salata, pilaf and two other dishes. I was thrilled. Then I found out that the secret of the delicious flavor was a popular herb, mint.

Mint is very easy to cultivate. In my garden, mint grows like weeds and out of control. It had never crossed my mind that this herb gives such a precious flavor.

By the way, Erika is still a beautiful and joyful bachelorette living in Boston. Her current boyfriend is Italian. So she takes me to Italian restaurants in Italian District whenever I visit her. She introduced me to numerous kinds of good food. I admire her excellent choice of food and, of course, her patient and generous men.

4 tomatoes
2 cucumbers
1 green pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ cup finely chopped mint
3 tbsp chopped dill
Extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons
Optional: Feta cheese

1. Dice the tomatoes, cucumber and green pepper. Place them in a large salad bowl.
2. Add the chopped green onions, parsley, mint and dill. Pour the olive oil and sprinkle lemon juice. Stir them well.
3. Add salt and stir right before you serve. Serving with feta cheese is optional but it is good.

1 comment:

  1. Turkish salads are so good. Persians as well, it's almost the same but much more parsley.