|Gavurdağı Salatası at Sahan Lokantası, Bağdat Caddesi, Istanbul|
I have been building up to a post on this spicy tomato salad for some time now. It’s one of our favourite mezes when we are out and now I know how easy it is to replicate , I can see it's going to become part of my regular repertoire at home!
|delicious juices to mop up with bread|
The tomato season is just starting: as summer advances so their taste improves. Things can only get better!
|Gavurdağı makes a good addition to the rakı table!|
Gavurdağ (dağ/ pron: dah) is actually the name of a mountain in the Taurus range down in the south of Turkey and this salad originally hails from Gaziantep, one of the major cities in that region, as so many delicious Turkish dishes do. I wasn’t certain about the addition of the cumin but I found that it goes brilliantly with the tomatoes and gives the salad an exotic Middle Eastern flavour. It’s eaten with meat or kebabs, not fish.
|....and at Develi Kebab, Kalamış, Istanbul|
Ingredients for Turkish Tomato Salad with Walnuts & Cumin -Gavurdağı Salatası
Based on a recipe from Refika’s 'Cooking New Istanbul Style'
1 ½ onions
1-2 cups parsley
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp walnuts/ ceviz
2 tbsp olive oil – extra virgin will taste the best
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses/nar ekşişi
1 tbsp cumin/kimyon
1 tbsp flaked red pepper/pul biber
1 tbsp dried mint/kuru nane
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
· Wash and deseed the tomatoes before chopping into small pieces.
|de-seeding the tomatoes; peel them too if the skin is thick|
· Discard any excessive juice (otherwise the salad will be too ‘wet’). Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Chop the onions and parsley and add to the tomatoes.
|the first time we used spring onions which was fine|
|we also added some chopped green pepper (optional) and not included in Refika's recipe|
· Scatter the cumin, black pepper, flaked red pepper and mint on top and mix gently.
|assembling all the ingredients before mixing|
· Crush the garlic and mix with the pomegranate molasses, olive oil and lemon juice. Place in a jam jar and shake to blend.
|the dressing for the Gavurdağı Salatası ready to be shaken|
· Add this dressing at the last minute to the tomato mixture in the bowl.
· Arrange the gavurdağı salad on a shallow serving dish and scatter the chopped walnuts over it all.
|ready to serve!|
· Refika recommends adding a little nutmeg too and then letting the salad rest for 10 minutes for all the tastes to combine.
I think next time I won't chop my walnuts quite so small - I prefer the look of the slightly larger pieces. I also recommend using less flaked red pepper than specified here as this made the salad very hot! But maybe you like it like that ...
I highly recommend this salad! Don’t make it too much in advance as it will become very liquid. It doesn't keep either so make sure you finish it up in one go.