Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Often when I cook, I have a small notebook alongside the stove. I try to take notes and measure ingredients as I go so I can pass along the recipes to you.

In the kitchen, now I have a pile of paper scraps filled with my chicken scratches and not everything makes sense. One of those recent recipes was my version of zeytinyağlı bezelye (sweet peas in olive oil). I can’t recall the exact measurements, so I will have to guess.

My husband, thankfully, shelled a kilo of fresh peas for me while he talked with his brother via Skype. (That’s been the best way for us to talk to friends and family members back in the U.S.)

Later than night, I cooked the peas to serve as a side-dish with roasted chicken and a fresh salad. The traditional Turkish recipe usually contains diced potatoes and carrots, which I didn’t use. My version is more like a pea-tomato mixture flavoured with garlic.

I was pleasantly surprised when my husband helped himself to a second serving of the peas. I think he liked this simple dish even more than I did!

Afiyet olsun!

Zeytinyağlı Bezelye (Sweet Peas in Olive Oil)
~50 ml (¼ c.) extra virgin olive oil
1 ea. medium onion, diced small
1 head fresh garlic, thinly sliced
300 g. (~ 2 c.) fresh green peas (you can substitute frozen peas with good results)
200 g. (1/2 can) diced tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes if you prefer)
2 heaping T. tomato paste
½ tsp. sugar
360 ml. (1 ½ c.) water
TT salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional garnish with fresh dill

1. In a medium-sized saute’ pan over medium heat, saute’ the garlic and onion with half of the olive oil until they soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Then, add the peas, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and water. Cover the pan with a lid and let cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the pea mixture to a glass container so it can cool down. Then add the reserved olive oil.
4. Serve the peas at room temperature. Garnish with fresh dill if you so desire.

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