Friday, 12 July 2013

Simple Aegean Flavours

When it's hot outside no one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and we live with a very simple diet. A handful of basil from the pot by the front door torn into a bowl of white cheese, peeled tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil has to be one of the tastiest dishes on earth. 

In July, the wild thyme in the forest behind the house is in flower and the heady aromatic oils are at their strongest. Olives, oil and thyme flowers served with crusty bread and a cold beer makes a great lunch

If friends come to eat I feel as if I should make a bit more effort but am still reluctant to spend more than a few minutes prepping ingredients.

My failsafe recipe for summer lunches is sea bass with bay leaves.

Ingredients per person:

1 large potato, 1 large tomato,  1 red onion,  all peeled and thinly sliced
1 sweet green pepper, deseeded and cut in half
Large slug of olive oil
Handful of basil and parsley
salt and pepper
1 small  sea bass, gutted and descaled.
1 bay leaf.
Half cup of water, fish or vegetable stock.
1 whole  garlic bulb - topped and tailed but not peeled.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees C

Put a good splash of olive oil in an oven proof dish, and add all the vegetables, seasoning, liquid and herbs except the bay leaves,
Cook in the oven until the potatoes are just soft.
Put a bay leaf  inside each fish and place on top of the vegetables, baste the fish with the hot liquid, pour some olive oil over each fish and return to the oven for approximately 15 minutes until a knife slips easily between the backbone and the flesh.
Squeeze the now soft pulp from the garlic bulb into the remaining juice and stir to distribute.  Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and then serve, allowing everyone to help themselves at the table and dip bread into the garlicky juice.


  1. That all looks most inviting!
    I'll try the sea bass recipe with our tilapia.

  2. That sounds glorious. Letting the fresh foods speak for themselves. You've given me a craving for white cheese , basil and tomatoes!

  3. B to B, Mmmmmm - tomatoes, basil and olive oil with köy peyniri. How wonderful that yesterday was market day and I have all the ingredients and it's almost lunchtime - thanks for the idea!

  4. The simple foods with minimum preparation are always the tastiest

  5. all sounds and looks wonderful, and I will be giving the sea bass a go.....already a fan of simple is best, this should be great.

  6. You know I'm a faddy eater but your food was just delicious x

  7. Yummy, my idea of summer on a plate - how nice to have that wild thyme at your footstep, enjoy all these : )

  8. This is how we eat as well - I agree, it's wonderful but only because the ingredients are so tasty! In England tomatoes and white cheese, for example, just wouldn't do it!

  9. Just shared this super post on my FB Page, Özlem! I want to go to Karaköy NOW!!!

  10. Whoops BtoB! Thought I was on Özlem's blog!!!

  11. Oh, yum! all the flavours I adore, though I have yet to convert DH to the taste of olives. :-) It's a fair bit cooler here than in Turkey, but still warm enough that all we want to eat at lunchtime is salad.