On a recent trip to Bozcaada Island I was surprised with one of the best meals of my entire trip to Turkey. It wasn't at a fancy restaurant, in fact, it was at a campground! The campground operates a restaurant for campers- since there is not any grocery store or other restaurants very close by- and the food was really unbelievable.
During my two nights I ordered the same thing: a plate of mixed zeytinyağlı vegetables. The word "zeytinyağlı" in the name of a dish means that it is cooked in olive oil. These dishes are generally served cold and can serve as a meze or main dish. Another thing to note is that these dishes are generally vegan.
I especially loved the zeytinyağlı okra so I decided to try to replicate that first. By only slicing off the stem of the plant before cooking, the inner mucous does not escape and therefore the dish is not slimy at all.
Okra is low calorie and high in fiber, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A. When buying okra, look for large, firm pods without brown marks.
Serves 2 as main dish, 4 as side dish
1 pound fresh okra (1/2 kilo)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt (12 grams)
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp sugar (14 grams)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Wash okra and slice off stems, being careful not to cut the stems completely off to expose the insides of the pods. You should not see holes at the top of the okra (pods should be intact).
- Heat olive oil in large pot, and then add onions and sauté until they begin to turn transparent.
- Add okra and mix thoroughly to coat it with oil. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, and then add the red pepper as well. Leave to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato and garlic. Mix.
- Add salt, pepper, and sugar. Mix everything together and cover with lid of pot.
- Turn down heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Serve either hot or cold with pilav and yogurt.
Tips & Additional Information:
This is a great dish to make ahead of time if you are having guests come over, because it can be served cold.