We all love a good kebab and Turkey is truly the land of kebabs!
Thousands of places sell them in Istanbul, some just holes in the wall, others proper restaurants and some of course are better than the rest.
Here in Turkey meat and fish restaurants are very often separate establishments so if you decide to go out to dinner, the first decision has to be, what do we want to eat tonight? That decision taken, the rest is easy.
All this because the salad I made last night can only be found at one of the best kebapçı in town, Köşebaşı, which specializes in traditional meat dishes from Adana and Tarsus down in the south.
There are quite a few branches all over the city including Levent and Bağdat Caddesi on the Asian side as well as in Ankara and Izmir.
So make sure you ask for Toros salatası along with your kebab order! This salad is named after the mighty Taurus mountain range which stretches from Antalya to Adana in the south. All those fresh herbs dressed with sumac and pomegranate molasses make it one of our firm favourites both at Kösebaşı and at home!
Funnily enough, even though it’s unique to them, recipes are easily available on the internet.
Toros Salatası/Toros Salad
The following amounts are just an indication although the parsley is a given. As for the others, personal preference is your guide!
a little olive oil
salt to taste
- Wash and prepare all the fresh herbs, spring onions, and rocket. Chop finely and put into a large bowl.
- You can add the sumac and flaked red pepper now but wait till the very last minute to add the olive oil and pomegranate molasses. If you are impatient and add these too early, the whole salad will become soggy and lose its attractive fresh look.
- When you are ready to serve, spread the salad onto a shallow serving dish, add a little olive oil, and then drizzle the pomegranate molasses over it all. Do not be too heavy-handed but on the other hand, the delightful sweetness of the molasses provides just the right counterpart to the tart sumac. The olive oil is simply to moisten the salad so again, don’t overdo it. Add salt to taste.
And if you’re wondering, the drink of choice in a kebapçı is ayran, either commercial in a plastic container and delicious, or made on the premises and often served in the traditional way which means drinking from the ladle!
But don’t worry: wine and rakı are also available in the more up-market read more urbanized kebab places!
Do try this salad: we love it because it uses all the fresh herbs that are so easily available here from every market and every manav. And pomegranate molasses is a winner every time as far as I am concerned.