I love my life. I wouldn’t want to change anything. The only thing I’m missing are family food traditions. There are just a few rare moments in my childhood that I associate with the kitchen and eating. Most of them are shaped by my two grandmothers, making buttery semolina pudding or cold cherry soup. I would visit either of them during my school holidays and enjoy spending time in the kitchen with them.
At home however cooking was never a huge part of our lives. My mum and dad were working full-time, so I always had lunch at school or later would get one of these microwave meals that come with small compartments of tasteless food. And for dinner we would all to often just have a simple German “Abendbrot” (literally meaning evening bread). There wasn’t much of a cooking process to it as a typical German dinner at home meant slices of sourdough bread and some different kinds of cheeses and cold cuts.
At the time I didn’t mind our simple meals and on weekends my mum would make quick lunches at home. There is also that story that we once were invited to a friend’s house where she cooked homemade tomato sauce with spaghetti for me and all I wanted was ketchup. Ketchup was a stable in our household. Ketchup with rice and eggs or ketchup with pasta. Considering that I haven’t bought a bottle of ketchup in a decade or so, makes it very clear that my food life has changed dramatically over the years. But not just mine, my mum and dad eat very differently now two and the last time they had a proper “Abendbrot” is probably also quite a while ago.
I now appreciate food traditions much more compared to the time I was still living at home. Where I once took family recipes for granted and believed they are nothing special I now treasure its value. Where I once thought convenient and pre-made foods are an essential part of my cooking, I now cherish the moments of making my own pasta or kneading dough for breads and cakes. This change has mainly evolved when I started to travel for food. At the beginning I simply enjoyed discovering and eating new foods. But now I love to understand foreign food, its tradition, its ingredients and its stories. And I try to take these wonderful memories back home and recreate those foods in my own kitchen.
Living in Turkey for 1.5 years now, all things flatbread, pide and lahmacun (different kinds of Turkish pizza) have become a weekly or at least monthly indulgence. Finding vegan or even vegetarian Turkish pide can be quite a challenge. But simply watching the pide bakers kneading the dough, topping it with fresh ingredients and sliding it into the a hot stone oven is already part of a good food experience. And biting into a freshly baked Turkish pide is probably one of the most comforting moments ever. On a recent trip to old Istanbul I tried out a new pide place and loved its pide so much that I was inspired to make one at home too. Ahhh the many joys of Turkish food.
The recipe for my Turkish Pide Two Ways (or also known as Turkish pizza) is ideal for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores. With this pide recipe I introduce a new series on black.white.vivid. with recipes that both vegans/vegetarians and omnivores can eat together. From personal experience I know that it can be sometimes difficult for mixed couples – as in one eats and one doesn’t eat meat. So I came up with a series of recipes that work for vegans and omnivores a like. Usually by just adding only a few more ingredients to the vegan version.
In this pide recipe I call for leftover shakshuka because I still had some left from our weekend breakfast. I didn’t feel like making a new tomato topping when I already had a perfectly seasoned one sitting in the fridge. You can find the recipe for my vegan shakshuka here. For the spinach version I used my first homemade vegan nut cheese. The recipe for the cashew cheese is inspired by Lore of @datesandavocado. But you can also use store-bought vegan cream cheese or any kind of savory cashew cheese cream.
You might think Turkish food is solely based on meat but there are so many amazing Turkish recipes that allow for a vegetarian or in this case a very tasty vegan version.
Turkish Pide Two Ways (Turkish Pizza)
- 140 ml / 0.6 cups lukewarm water
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp / 3.5 g dried yeast
- 250 g / 1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp leftover Shakshuka (recipe on my blog)
- 1 fresh tomato, cubed
- 1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
- For Vegetarian: two egg
- For Omnivores: 200 g minced beef, cooked
- 75 g / 2.5 cups raw spinach
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp coriander
- 1 tsp sumac (substitute with ½ lemon zest or lemon pepper)
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sumac (substitute with ½ lemon zest or lemon pepper)
- 10 g / ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
- 100 g / 2-3 tbsp vegan soft cheese (recipe link in text)
- For Vegetarians: 100 g feta cheese or yellow cheese instead of vegan cheese
- In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar with water and mix well. Add dry yeast, stir and let it sit for about 10 min or until water is bubbling/creating some foam.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine salt with flour, add oil and yeast water mixture and mix thoroughly to bring the dough together.
- Put the dough on a lightly flowered surface, knead for 5 - 10 min (don't skip this step, it's essential) and form a ball.
- Oil a large bowl and place the dough ball inside, cover with a kitchen towel and leave it at warm place for 60-90 min or until it has slightly increased in size (doesn't need to double but needs to look fluffy).
- In the meantime, combine spinach with oil, garlic powder, coriander, cumin and sumac, mix well and let it sit until the dough is ready.
- Heat oven to 220°C/430°F.
- When the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured surface again and knead for a few seconds to release air.
- Divide dough into 3 - 4 pieces and roll them into oval shapes (20 x 40 cm (about 8” x 16”), with ½ cm (0.2”) thickness).
- Spread shakshuka on two of the four pides and top with sliced tomatoes, leaving a boarder. For Vegetarians, add 1 egg on each pide. For Omnivores, top cooked minced meat on shakshuka filling. Also top the other two pides with the marinated spinach and sprinkle with vegan cheese. For Vegetarians, top it with feta/yellow cheese.
- Fold the edges over by 2 cm and pinch both ends to create a boat shape and brush the top of each pide with some oil.
- Transfer pides onto parchment lined baking tray and bake in over for 10-12 min.
- Sprinkle shakshuka pide with fresh parsely and serve warm.