If you have been reading my posts for a while, you'll have gathered that I've spent over 30 years, (on and off), earning my living wielding a whisk, so it's always a joy to find a new ingredient or learn a new cooking technique. I managed both in one day last week attending a cookery demonstration at Erenler Sofrası Restaurant, at Yarbasan Stone Houses in Ortakent. I've been on quite a few day courses in attractive surroundings but the view from this kitchen has to be the most glamorous.
Put as many artichoke hearts as you can in a single layer in a deep, wide-based pan. Brush with lemon juice to stop them going brown. Roughly chop a bunch each of spring onions, onion flowers and dill and mix in a bowl with half a cup of rice and a handful each of salt and sugar. Mix with your hand for 5 minutes to make the onion juices run. Then rinse well and cover the artichoke hearts with the mixture, a cup of water and a cup of good olive oil. Season, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes then serve either warm or cold. I'd used sugar and salt to kill the bitterness in onions for a salad but never instead of frying to soften at the beginning of an olive oil dish. I tried it the next day with a couple of my tried and tested meze recipes and it definitely gives a fresher flavour.
If cooking isn't your thing, visit the restaurant for the best meze I've tasted on the peninsula or if you're looking for a holiday rental, check out the Yarbasan web site for a collection of high quality, quirky but elegant villas.