Turkey!

September 2014

IMG_6095Early this summer I had the great pleasure of visiting the Turkish Mediterranean for 2 weeks with my 15 year old son.  We hadn’t planned to go to Turkey, but were drawn there by a week long cruise of the area on a sail ship offering daily yoga, fresh food, and dips in the cool, blue waters.  YogaCruise is operated by Sven & Kathja.  They were the ultimate hosts on this trip, providing twice daily yoga, cool tunes, and great meals featuring ingredients from the region.

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Tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers and fresh yogurt made daily appearances in our breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Served up 50 different ways, these ingredients were staples of the local diet.  Fish, beef, and lamb made occasional appearances.  Desserts consisted mostly of dried & fresh fruits, nuts, and the occasional pastry or Turkish Delight.

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Our days were spent like this: wake up, do yoga, eat breakfast, swim, lie in the sun, eat lunch, swim, lie in the sun, have tea, swim, lie in the sun, nap, do yoga, eat dinner, dance, sleep. After 7 days of this I was relaxed, tanned and just a teensy bit more fit. The 45 degree plus weather was most bearable due to the sea breezes and refreshing dips in the Mediterranean. Not a bad way to spend a vacation.  Too bad it takes 24 hours to get there!


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One of the may local recipes we enjoyed were these simple zucchini fritters, and considering we are in the thick of zucchini season, I thought it would be a good recipe to share with you this month.

Ingredients

1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
scallions, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup corn starch or all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions
Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wring all of the excess liquid out of the zucchini with your hands, then set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the dried zucchini, scallions, dill, feta, garlic and black pepper. Sprinkle the corn starch and baking powder over mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tablespoon sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or room temperature with lemon wedges.