Çingene Pilavi (Gypsey Rice(less) Salad)


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Those with a keen eye for detail might notice that one key ingredient is absent in this rice salad – the rice. In actuall fact this is not an oversight, merely a rustic Turkish salad which originally included it, but over time the white fleck of rice was replaced by feta cheese. This salad is surprisingly scrumptious, the dressing is in the form of sumac and paprika and it works amazingly. You can buy sumac from any middle eastern supermarket but, if you can’t find it, then replace with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin or coriander for an alternative Ottoman experience.

RECIPE: (for 4)


2 medium red onions (sliced thinly)
1 green capsicum (deseeded and sliced)
1 fresh green chilli (deseeded and thinly sliced)
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1/2 cup Italian parsley (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh mint (chopped)
225g feta cheese (crumbled)
2 ripe tomatoes (peeled, deseeded & chopped)
2 heaped tablespoons black olives (pitted & chopped)
1 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
1 teaspoon sumac
salt & pepper
1/2 lemon (juice of)

Sprinkle some salt over the sliced onions. Leave for 10 minutes then add to a seive and drain under a cold tap. Pat dry with paper towels and combine with all the other salad ingredients except the lemon juice. Leave for 10 minutes before serving.

Pour over the lemon juice and serve. I ate it with an absolutely delicious pan fried salmon fillet and was quite proud of just how healthy I’d been.

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