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Squash Salad (turkish Style) Recipe

Squash salad, also known as "Enginar Salatası" in Turkish, is a refreshing and flavorful dish that showcases the delicate flavors of long squash. The dish has a long history in Turkish cuisine and is often enjoyed as a side dish or a light meal during the hot summer months. The combination of tender squash, tangy vinegar, and aromatic shallots or leeks creates a delightful and balanced flavor profile.

The origins of this recipe can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, where it was consumed as a traditional meze (appetizer) dish. Meze is an integral part of Turkish cuisine, consisting of a variety of small plates served alongside alcoholic beverages, such as rakı or wine. It is customary to share and enjoy mezes with friends and family, fostering a sense of togetherness and conviviality.

Fun fact: Did you know that squash was originally cultivated in the Americas and made its way to Europe via trade routes? The Ottomans, renowned for their rich culinary heritage, incorporated this newfound ingredient into their cuisine, adapting it to their own tastes and culinary traditions.

Now let's dive into the recipe for this delightful squash salad in Turkish style!

Ingredients:
- 2 long squashes (similar in appearance to cucumbers)
- Olive oil (for frying)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for the sauce)
- 2 shallots or leeks, finely chopped

Instructions:

1. Begin by thoroughly washing the long squash to ensure it is clean. Using a grater or a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the skin.

2. Cut the squash into thin slices, approximately one-quarter of an inch thick.

3. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the squash slices in the pan, ensuring they do not overlap. Fry the slices until they turn golden brown and become slightly crispy. This will take about 3-4 minutes per side.

4. While the squash is frying, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, prepared mustard, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well incorporated and form a smooth sauce.

5. Finely chop the shallots or leeks into small pieces.

6. Once the squash slices are fried to perfection, transfer them to a serving dish. Arrange the slices in a single layer.

7. Sprinkle the chopped shallots or leeks over the fried squash slices, distributing them evenly.

8. Finally, pour the prepared sauce over the salad, ensuring it coats the squash and shallots or leeks thoroughly. The tangy flavor of the dressing will complement the mild sweetness of the squash.

9. Serve the squash salad immediately, while it is still warm. Alternatively, you can refrigerate it for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to meld together further.

This Turkish-style squash salad makes a delightful addition to any meal. Its refreshing taste and crunchy texture make it perfect for summer gatherings, picnics, or as a side dish for grilled meats or fish. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a light and healthy meal option.

Similar recipes to explore:

1. Zucchini Salad: If you can't find long squash or prefer zucchini, this recipe can be easily adapted by substituting zucchini for the long squash. The rest of the ingredients and instructions can remain the same, and you'll have a delicious zucchini salad instead.

2. Greek Tzatziki: Tzatziki is a classic Greek dip made with yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. It shares some similarities with Turkish squash salad in terms of refreshing flavors and the use of cucumbers. Tzatziki can be served alongside grilled meat or fish, or used as a dip for pita bread or vegetables.

3. Mediterranean Meze Platter: Embrace the rich culinary heritage of the Mediterranean region by creating a meze platter. Combine various small dishes, including hummus, tabbouleh, eggplant dip, and Turkish-style squash salad, to create a spread of flavors that will delight your taste buds.

Explore these recipes and enjoy a variety of vibrant and flavorful dishes inspired by Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines.

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