Swiss Chard & Feta Turkish Gozleme, a flat bread sandwiching a wonderfully juicy tasty sauteed swiss chard and a creamy pungent feta.
Song of the day: “Yolla” by Tarkan.
Swiss Chard and Feta Turkish Gozleme, a fantastic pocket of goodness from the charred flat bread dough, to the moist sauteed swiss chard in olive oil, and finally sealing the deal, a creamy taste bud dropping feta. The best part, hand held, no plates needed.
Here we are again with the monthly challenge: Around the world in 12 plates. Destination, Turkey. When I think of Turkey, I think outdoor markets, lots of voice chatter, bargaining, and most of all street food. Nicoletta did some research on Turkish cuisine, and when she showed me her favorites, the Gozleme was a hit in our eyes.
Gozleme is a traditional savory Turkish flatbread or pastry dish. These pockets are made with hand rolled leaves of Yulka dough. The gozleme are brushed with butter and eggs and are filled with various savory ingredients, then sealed and cooked on a griddle. We chose for a filling some amazing colorful organic swiss chard, and to accompany it, good quality feta.
I have always dreamed of going to Turkey. I love learning about cultures, spiritual practices, traditions, especially the arts, music, dance, but a greater passion is to get right into the nitty gritty of other cultures’ kitchens and learn their way. I always say I would love to have that job, traveling to different countries, immersing myself in the culture, coming out with just a bit more unity than before, and a whole lotta food ideas and flavors.
Look at the color of this swiss chard, picked up at the 104 street City Center market. When sauteed it has this sweet meets earthy flavor that I believe is going to be great with the acidity and pungent-ness of the feta, which we picked up at the Italian Centre Shop. The brand, Doric, a Macedonian style feta (no sponsor). I have to tell you that to date this is the best tasting feta we have had, it is so smooth and creamy rich!
With the swiss chard cut up and the dough risen, of course made by Nicoletta, we are ready to work these babies into a wonderful gozleme. Don’t you just love the smell of dough rising? The interesting factor of this dough is it has yogurt which makes the texture a bit more sticky. So when working the dough you will need to flour the working surface and rolling pin quite well. The sauteing of the swiss chard is easy: olive oil, garlic, green onion, and a bit of chili, and a seasoned hot pan and time to make it happen.
This dough is so elastic and stretchy, it smells so good. I want to break off a piece with my hands and taste it, and I think Nicoletta is truly enjoying herself. She loves working with any dough, those hands are magnificent! I have to say this was a bit trickier than normal. We apologize to the Turkish culture if our shape is not to par!
The swiss chard tastes fantastic, a quick swoop of the spoon and into my mouth with only mmmmmmmmmmm resounding forth there after. Perfect and now ready to be the filling in our gozleme. The dough we spread out in a kind of rectangular pattern. A nice heap of swiss chard, feta mix, and the folding begins. Actually, 2 folds happen prior to the filling bringing the dough on the sides to the center. With the swiss chard feta filling in place gracing that wonderful starkness of the dough, we are into the final stages of assembly and with BBQ warming up too, soon put some color on the surface of this pocket of Turkish wonder.
A few folds later and look at this beauty. Can’t wait to taste it, but first, have to bake it.
Wanting to have that real hot oven experience, I place a pizza stone on the grill of the barbecue and heat it up to 425° F.
I used some cornmeal to help this gozleme slide off the wooden pizza paddle and I have to say it works quite well. One thing I have to tell you is don’t leave the gozleme on the paddle too long as it will bind with the cornmeal and stick to the paddle. All you will be left with is a mess on the stone as you feverously shake, rattle and roll the pocket off the paddle. I sprinkle the cornmeal on and immediately place the gozleme on the paddle and slide it onto the hot stone.
I love the smell when the dough starts to brown and form some charred bits. Always willing to volunteer to try the few bits that fall off. A nice golden brown color forms on the surface and the gozleme begins to rise and fall as the swiss chard and feta heat up and melt.
Nice and toasted I take this gozleme off the stone and cut through to reveal the beautiful filling. Light crispy air pocketed dough and that feta creaming through the swiss chard with such a fragrance. I bite in and the crunch resounds. Nice char flavoring hitting my taste buds. The swiss chard coming through with that earthy musky note followed by incredible subtle sweetness, as it swirls with the acidity of the feta all melted and creamy. I love these Swiss Chard and Feta Turkish Gozleme. Such an easy appetizer to eat and enjoy, and not really that hard to make. Next time you feel like a bit of ethnic food, dust off the wood board, get that flour into the air and create these wonderful pockets of texture and flavor and have some fun with it. We did!
Song of the day: “Yolla” by Tarkan.
Recipe for the Gozleme adapted from Ozlem’s Turkish Table.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 g instant dried yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. plain natural yoghurt (preferably whole milk)
- 130 ml warm water (1/4 of the warm water to be mixed with the yeast)
- 4 cups organic Swiss chard leaves, washed and chopped (stems partially removed)
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, whole
- pinch of chili flakes
- 110 g feta cheese
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and salt in a small bowl, stir and cover. Let rest in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fiitted with the bread hook, add the flour, the water/yeast mixture, the oil, and the remaining warm water. Mix on medium speed until a soft dough starts to form.
- Take dough out of mixing bowl and place on a floured work surface.
- Knead until smooth and roll into 3 equal dough balls.
- Place each ball in a floured bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for about 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling.
- In a large saute pan, drizzle olive oil and bring to a medium heat. Toss in garlic and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add chopped Swiss chard, and pinch of chili flakes, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, checking and stirring to make sure it is wilting evenly.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Take off heat, let cool down, then add the crumbled feta cheese and toss lightly.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the balls of the dough with a rolling pin into thin oval. Dust often with flour as you roll the dough so that the dough won’t stick. Roll until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat oval.
- Fold left and right long sides into the center.
- Divide Swiss chard mixture into 3 equal amounts.
- Place Swiss chard in center of dough, then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is covered.
- Press edges with a fork or your fingers making sure all edges are sealed. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough balls.
- Preheat the barbecue with a pizza stone on one side to 425° F.
- Brush one side of the gozleme with a little olive oil.
- Take a pizza paddle dust with semolina flour and carefully place gozleme onto paddle keeping the oil side up.
- Go to barbecue, carefully slide the gozleme onto stone. Cook for about 10 minutes or until bottom starts to form a golden brown color.
- With a tin spatula flip gozleme over and brush top side with olive oil.
- Cook for an additional 10 minutes, then take off stone and place on a plate.
- Cut in diagonal or halves.
- Ready to serve and enjoy!
The total time does not include the resting time of the dough. Allow 30 minutes for this.
Don’t forget to check out the other Turkish recipes made by our fellow Canadian bloggers as their contribution to the #ATW12P:
Making our recipes? Take a pic and tag us on Instagram: @sugarlovespices/#sugarlovespices. You’re going to be in our gallery!
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