Vegan Gözleme with Spinach and Onion

Spinach has air pockets in its leaves. With heat they release the air and this is the reason why spinach shrinks while being cooked. I used frozen spinach for this recipe but if you have the chance to use fresh spinach your Gözleme will sure taste better although the frozen option is more practical.

For us, Gözleme is a fantastic lunch option and goes well with a bowl of fresh salad. The recipe below serves 2.

IMG_0913-P (1280x960)

2 sheets of yufka (Easy Yufka brand that can be purchased from Gima supermarket in Auburn)
250 gram Heinz finely chopped spinach (1 pack)
1 onion, chopped finely
Oil for frying
½ lemon cut into 2 wedges
Black pepper

To make the filling: Heat some oil in a large non-stick pan and brown onions without burning. Once the onions are done, add the frozen spinach. Break the corners as they become loose and continue doing this until the whole block is thawed. Stir the spinach and the onion well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let it cool.
To prepare the Gözleme: Spread the yufka (1 at a time) on a large chopping board. Spread half the spinach and onion mixture starting from the centre of the yufka. The size of the area where you spread the mixture should not be bigger than the surface of your frying pan and it should be a square in shape. Fold the yufka like a large envelope depending on the size of your frying pan. I use a large electric pan which is perfect for the job –shapewise, it is square.
To fry the Gözleme: Place the oil in the frying pan and spread with a brush. Heat the oil and fry one side of the Gözleme. Before you turn it over, brush the up side with more oil. Then turn it over and cook the other side as well. Once both sides of Gözleme are cooked move it onto a large, flat plate so that you can cook the other one. When the second Gözleme is also cooked, move it onto your chopping board and return the other Gözleme to the pan to warm up. Cut the Gözlemes into small squares –use a bread knife for the job. Drizzle over freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve warm.

A day to remember and the food was vegan

Coming from an incredibly hospitable country, I love having people around for dinner. I usually spend hours in the kitchen preparing many different dishes and every time my husband looks at the food and says “This is a lot of food, Darling.” Well, this is also part of my culture. Let me explain; let’s say you have people around and you have only a few dishes. What if they do not like some of the ingredients? What if your main course is not so “main” for them? They need variety so that they won’t go hungry.

I remember having a couple from Istanbul over for an alfresco dinner on a summer night, back in Turkey. You know what they asked for at the end the dinner? They wanted me print out every single recipe of the night, including the salad dressing! I started making copies of my recipes back then.

Over here, in Sydney, we don’t have many people who are willing to share this food culture with us. Meeting new people is kind of difficult, especially if you are “fringe dwellers” like us –a Kiwi and a blood thirsty Turk who now live in Australia and don’t eat meat. Still, sometimes, someone from the past decides to drop by and it turns out to be a delightful experience.

Last year, we hosted Tony Cowell for lunch at our place who is my husband’s musician friend from New Zealand. They used to play in the same band. He is now the guitarist for Kenny Wiz as part of Michael Jackson Tribute Concerts all around the world. Tony is a world-class guitarist with a big, warm heart.

One of Tony’s cassette covers we still have…
Tony Cowell cassette cover (886x1280)

For lunch, we had Turkish Gözleme with spicy potato, paprika and onion filling, vegan coleslaw and a bowl of fresh salad. I didn’t make the Gözleme. It came from Gima Supermarket in Auburn. This is the only vegan Gözleme you can buy in Australia. Every other variety can be bought from Woolworths but for this one, we have to go to Auburn.

The box of Gözleme –spicy potato variety- looks like this…
tasty gozleme (1248x1280)

After lunch, the boys went down to our local music shop to get some strings for John’s guitar so that Tony can replace the ancient ones. Then Tony had to go to prepare for the concert. At the same time, we had to prepare for the concert too because we had complimentary tickets to go and see Tony play.

This is us after the concert…
T and J (1280x1090)T and AG (1280x1240)

Next time we hope to spend more time with Tony or perhaps have a jam session together too!