Ezme is one of the most popular of all Turkish mezzes, and is found at almost all Turkish meals. It is a spicy and fresh accompaniment. Actually, this version is very spicy, so you could opt to tone it down a little depending on your taste – just cut down on the chillies or the red pepper flakes. It seems a lot of work for such a small side dish, but I guarantee you will enjoy this little beauty! Ezme recipe:
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 large green peppers/chillies (depending how hot you like it)
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 2 handfuls of fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes (again, amount can vary depending on how hot you want to make it)
- 1 tsp of sumac
- Olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon
- Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Dice very finely using a sharp knife.
- Peel and chop the onion very finely.
- Split the peppers/chillis lengthways, remove the seeds and chop finely.
- If needed, re-chop all ingredients again. This dish should be chopped very, very finely.
- Strain all the juices away and place the tomatoes, onion, and chillies together in a bowl.
- Add the spices and mix through.
- Finally, add the lemon juice and olive oil. Mix through and serve with a little extra parsley on top.
Ezme can be served by itself as a cold starter or a meze. It also works extremely well as an accompaniment to grilled meat (especially lamb) or fish. The spicier versions should be served with fresh white bread. Ayran, the traditional Anatolian yoghurt drink is a wonderfully refreshing accompaniment, as is a light white wine.