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Sweet, Spicy, Acidic and bursting with flavour. This popular restaurant starter ticks all the taste boxes. Combining summer vegetables with herbs and spices fused together with the sweet and sour kicks of pomegranate and lemon. 

  Original recipe post from July 2018 updated with new pictures June 2020.

Scracthed rusty metal backgroud with mustard yellow tea towel and vintage bowl holding chunky Turkish salsa. Ezme.

The first recipe to ever get uploaded on my blog, back when I didn't have a clue about recipe SEO, laying out recipes, the importance of using Turkish words and google friendly English translations. Oh, and the photography - don't get me started on the mindless shots! It's been a learning curve much like learning to cook Turkish recipes at home but as with mastering new ingredients and dishes, it's been a fruitful journey.

And so this post is getting an update, the recipe is exactly the same but as we're in the throws of summer again I took the time to snap the delight in-season ingredients that go into possible one of the most served mezes going here in Turkey. 

Halved onion and two cloves of purple garlic on a scratched white metal surface 

It's a little sweet, thanks to those in season, ripe tomatoes and the pomegranate molasses (more so ıf you use the sos version but we all know how I feel about that *Nar Ekşisi 'Sos' - Pomegranate Molasses

It's spicy, for us, not the hottest I've ever had but it certainly throws out kicks and punches (you may want to adjust that either way)

It's got acidic undertones, a squeeze of lemon (Meyer in the summer but that can be swapped out for a touch of vinegar if you don't have access to them)

and it's definitely bursting with flavour. 

 

 

The first time I made hot Turkish salsa it was a delight, I was so so proud and the second time I prepared it, oh my gosh, I was so eager to eat it all up but it was unbelievably spicy!!!

I had tears running down my face! Which comes from that all-important need to check if the peppers your buying are actually sweet or hot hot hot! 

Blender full with chopped ingredients for Turkish spicy 'Ezme' meze surrounded by fresh herbs, heirloom tomatoes and lemons on a scratched orangy surface.  

Of course, it's really important to use fresh in-season ingredients for this popular Turkish restaurant starter. Tomatoes not yet in their prime are never going to cut it like the burst of flavour that comes from in-season tomatoes.

And over time I also discovered that the secret to a really good Ezme is the order in which the ingredients are added to the blender or food processor.

The tomatoes should be left to the end before the flavourings to help them resume some shape, that is, of course, you really like a super smooth dip.

Or if you really love the texture, you can chop the ingredients by hand, this is also more salsa-like.

 

The dish is best served cold and matures over time making this a great make-ahead recipe for entertaining, don't worry if the juices from the vegetables separate over time, it can be mixed in but holds better if drained off.

For an extra special combination, match with Tangy yoghurt meze Haydari

 

 

Turkish Spicy Salsa Acılı Ezme

Sweet, Spicy, Acidic and bursting with flavour. This popular restaurant starter ticks all the taste boxes. Combining summer vegetables with herbs and spices fused together with the sweet and sour kicks of pomegranate and lemon.

Prep

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Category: Mezes & Appetizers
Seasons
Cuisine Type Turkish

Ingredients

Spicy ezme meze

1 Onons
2 Garlic cloves
2 Long, green peppers, halved and deseeded
1 Large red pepper. halved and deseeded
1 Handful of parsley
1/2 Handful of fresh mint
3 Small to medium Tomaotes
3 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Squeeze of lemon juice
2 Teaspoons Sundried pepper paste *Biber Salça* (tomato can be used)
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika (Sweet or hot to taste)
2 Teaspoons Aleppo pepper / Pul biber pepper flakes (Reduce for less kick)
1 Teaspoon Pomegranate Molasses 'Nar ekşisi'
1/2 Teaspoon Sumac
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper

Turkish Spicy Salsa Acılı Ezme Directions

  1. Place the peeled and quartered onion into the blender alongside the peeled garlic cloves and pulse until mostly chopped.
  2. Add the peppers, parsley & mint leaves and again pulse until these become roughly chopped.
  3. Add the tomatoes and pulse briefly, allowing some of the tomatoes pieces to hold their shape and give texture. 
  4. Place into the blender all other ingredients and use stir setting or pulse just the once to combine.
  5. Drain off any excess water, stir and chill until serving.
  6. (If required you can drain off any excess juice again before serving - if you like your salsa really hot wait until serving before draining off)

Recipe notes

For me, the key to a good spicy ezme is using fresh in-season ingredients. Tomatoes not yet in their prime are never going to cut it like the burst of flavour that comes from in-season quality tomatoes.

Secondly is the order in which the ingredients go into the processor, tomatoes should be left to the end before the flavourings to help them resuıme some shape.

The juices from the vegetables separate over time, it can be mixed in but holds better if drained off. Draining off just before serving retains the heat from the spices.

The spices in the recipe give a kick if you prefer a milder version, swap the pull biber for sweet paprika and leave the black pepper out. 

 

 

Reviews 5/5

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