Growing up, I’ve never been a big fan of vegetables. Once I began to refine my palette, I found ways to flavor my dishes to create a balance of eating vegetables on a daily basis. With this cookbook, there are many recipes to seamlessly incorporate all types of greens to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!
The passion that Hetty McKinnon has for FAMILY and FOOD is seen throughout this cookbook, where she can create deep bonds with friends and loved ones to eat green together.
The photos and stories from Hetty’s friends and family are gorgeous and preserve family tradition through paper. As I’m trying to eat green more and more each day, Hetty mentioned tips and tricks to get people of all ages to make mealtimes “greener and happier”, like pairing vegetables with an ingredient that you know they like. Some of her recipes also feature an Asian influence, like Japchae, which I have yet to make at home.
Halloumi, Kale, and Mint Gozleme aka Turkish Street Food
For this recipe, I tried the gozleme. I absolutely love flatbread, kale, and cheese, so this recipe is a must try. It reminds me a lot of Dönerkebabs from Berlin, Germany, which actually have Turkish influence. It can also be compared to a “dumpling” since it’s stuffed with many ingredients!
Hetty McKinnon suggested alternative ingredients to her dish, such as mushrooms, soft cheeses, or even nutella and bananas. The kale, garlic, and salty flavor of the cheese really brings out the mint, so it’s refreshing and filling despite it being a hot dish.
For the yogurt dough, the recipe calls for self rising flour, so I made my own by combining all purpose flour with baking powder and salt. I suggest using a little more of the greek yogurt so the dough isn’t as dense and can knead and rise well. When stuffing your dough, you can seal it together like you would a dumpling, just make sure to press down (or use a fork) so it doesn't open mid way when cooking!
Since McKinnon also mentioned that you can use meat, I decided to create the traditional recipe, and one that was filled with steak cubes and pan-sauteed mushrooms, along with the halloumi cheese and kale from the recipe.
As soon as I got the stuffed gozlemes on the stovetop, grilled in butter, I was super excited by the fragrant and familiar smell of bread and butter. Once plated, I cut them in half, and put some garlic sauce on it. Delish! This is a dish I can prepare over and over again, in different ways.
I made 4 gozlemes total, about 6-7 inches long, which was big enough to feed 4 of us in the family.
THE FULL RECIPE:
HALLOUMI, KALE, AND MINT GOZLEME
11 ounces (300g) Greek yogurt
Big pinch of sea salt
3 cups (375g) self-rising flour (IF YOU DON'T OWN SELF RISING FLOUR: 1 cup (150g) all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of kale; stems removed
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
9 ounces (250g) Halloumi cheese; grated
2 scallions, finely chopped
Handful of mintl eaves, torn
Melted Butter or extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
For the dough, place the yogurt in a large bowl and stir in the salt. When combined, gradually add the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a stiff dough. Bring everything together in the bowl before turning it out onto a floured work surface. Using your hands, knead the dough until it is soft and slightly tacky. Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes.
To make the filling, warm a frying pan over a medium-heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, toss in the kale and garlic, and season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Take the pan off heat and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, chop the kale leaves roughly, then add them to the grated Halloumi, scallions, and mint. Season with sea salt and black pepper and mix well to combine.
Divide the dough into four equal balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a 8-10inch (20-25 cm) circle. Place some filling on one side of the circle and fold the dough over. Seal the edges with a form (or crimp, if you feel like it!). Repeat until you have used all the dough.
Place a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Brush both sides of the gozleme with melted butter or olive oil and cook on both sides until golden.
To serve, cut each gozleme into three slices and finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice. (I love lots of lemon on my gozleme.)
TIP: If you want to add in meat, you can half the portion of the kale and cheese, and add any type of steak (I used one packet of cubed steaks, but feel free to cut steaks into 1 inch cubes), and 1/2 a pack of sliced mushrooms. I love putting the steak and mushrooms in with a little bit of the kale/cheese mix.