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Vegetarian Dishes

Vegetable dishes
 
A vegetable dish can be a main course in a Turkish meal. A large variety of vegetables are used, such as spinach, leek, cauliflower, artichoke, cabbage, celery, eggplant, green and red bell peppers, string bean and jerusalem artichoke. A typical vegetable dish is prepared with a base of chopped onions, carrots sautéed first in olive oil and later with tomatoes or tomato paste. The vegetables and hot water will then be added. Quite frequently a spoon of rice and lemon juice is also added. Vegetable dishes usually tend to be served with its own water (the cooking water) thus often called in colloquial Turkish sulu yemek (literally "a dish with juice"). Minced meat can also be added to a vegetable dish but vegetable dishes that are cooked with olive oil (zeytinyağlılar) are often served cold and do not contain meat. Spinach, leek, string bean and artichoke with olive oil are among the most widespread dishes in Turkey.
 
Dolma is the name used for stuffed vegetables. Like the vegetables cooked with olive oil as described above dolma with olive oil does not contain meat. Many vegetables are stuffed, most typically green peppers (biber dolması), eggplants, tomatoes, courgettes, or Zucchini in the U.S. (kabak dolması), vine leaves (yaprak dolması). If vine leaves are used, they are first pickled in brine. However, dolma is not limited to these common types; many other vegetables and fruits are stuffed with a meat and/or rice mixture. For example, artichoke dolma (enginar dolması) is an Aegean region specialty. Fillings used in dolma may consist of parts of the vegetable carved out for preparation, rice with spices and/or minced meat.
 
Mercimek köfte, although being named köfte, does not contain any meat. Instead, red lentil is used as the major ingredient together with spring onion, tomato paste etc.
 
Imam bayildi is a version of karnıyarık with no minced meat inside. It can be served as a meze as well.
 
Fried eggplant and pepper is a common summer dish in Turkey. It is served with yogurt or tomato sauce and garlic.
 
Mücver is prepared with grated squash/courgette or potatoes, egg, onion, dill and/or cheese and flour. It can be either fried or cooked in the oven.
 
Pilaf can be served either as a side dish or main dish but bulgur pilavı (pilav made of boiled and pounded wheat - bulgur) is also widely eaten. The dishes made with kuru fasulye (white beans), nohut (chickpeas), mercimek (lentils), börülce (black-eyed peas), etc., combined with onion, vegetables, minced meat, tomato paste and rice, have always been common due to being economical and nutritious.
 
Turşu is pickle made with brine, usually with the addition of garlic. It is often enjoyed as an appetizer. It is made with a large variety of vegetables, from cucumber to courgette. In the towns on the Aegean coast, the water of turşu is consumed as a drink. It comes from the Persian "Torshi", which refers to pickled "Torsh" (sour) vegetables.
 
Egg dishes
 
Menemen consists of scrambled eggs cooked with tomato, green pepper, and onion.
Çılbır is another traditional Turkish food made with poached eggs, yogurt and oil.
Ispanaklı yumurta consists of eggs with spinach and onion.
Kaygana can be described as something of a cross between the pancake and the omelet in Ottoman cuisine. It used to be served with cheese, honey, crushed nuts, or eggplant. However, it is almost forgotten in the big cities of Turkey.