I was in the kitchen a few days ago with a cup of coffee trying to decide whether I was coming down with a cold or not. I was also flipping through one of my three trusty cooking files – so much more satisfying than checking the computer – just for fun, to remind myself of what I had thought interesting enough to cut out and keep.
And there it was! The perfect recipe I thought to myself! Zeytinli Kek or olive loaf, bursting with wonderful ingredients: fresh parsley and dill, white cheese or feta, and of course, black olives.
Why perfect? Because in my fridge I had those gorgeous olives that I had bought last week on our Iznik trip and which inspired my recent blog post. You could say olives were on my mind.
A Turkish tea party will always start with tuzlu or savoury, then tatlı or sweet: you need at least a couple of each.
This loaf fits the bill perfectly for such an occasion. Ayşe had served it and we had all loved it: that’s why I had asked her for the recipe but failed to make it till now! I also think it would make a great brunch addition.
Now, Turkish recipes are different from ours:
For a start, all the measurements are given in bardak or glasses! But I have long since learned that 1 bardak=1 cup so easy enough to convert. (Check the tab Measurements for other similar conversions).
They can be delightfully – or distractingly – imprecise. eg bol maydonoz – which literally means lots of parsley. Oh yes? ½ bardak white cheese – but what to do with it?
- Place the yogurt, olive oil, and eggs in a bowl and mix together using the electric mixer. Don’t overdo it.
- Add the chopped parsley, dill, crumbled or grated white cheese and the sliced olives. Add the flour and mix to a soft dough. Usually salt is not necessary as the white cheese is salty enough.
- Place the dough in the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I needed to bake mine for an additional 15 minutes.
TIP: You will find that using the greaseproof paper to line your loaf tin works brilliantly. I saw Jamie doing this on a recent TV show and have been doing it ever since! Works a treat, especially with any cake, or loaf come to that, that has a tendency to stick. Try it!
A big thank you to you, Ayşe – she is the one standing next to me in the picture above – for this wonderful olive loaf recipe! I’ll be making it again – and I won’t wait another ten years!