Recipes for a winter or summer Turkish dinner party menu- Meze Platter, Yogurt or Red Lentil Soup, Stuffed eggplant or Shish Kebap, Baklava, Turkish Coffee.
If you are searching for a Turkish dinner menu, then you are in luck. This post includes our favorite Turkish dinner recipes. And further, there is a winter version of our Turkish Dinner Part Menu as well as a summer version. Happy days!
Turkish Food Culture
Turkish people are very social. Family get-togethers at local restaurants or the family house are very common. Turkish people consider it very important to not just keep in touch with relatives but to spend quality time with them as well. This usually occurs over a meal, often on a Sunday. So today, we are providing you with a Turkish Dinner Party menu complete with recipes.
When you visit the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, there is one giant clue as to how important food is to the Turkish culture. The Royal kitchens in the palace are massive and this is where guilds were formed for different types of food preparation and cooking.
For example there are guilds for bread bakers, confectionery, pastry, jams and preserves and cheese makers. This is just a selection there are many more guilds than these examples. Topkapi Palace is basically where specialist chefs emanated from. Not in France, in Turkey! Turks take food very seriously. Learning how to cook Turkish food will skill you in one of the world’s most traditional and oldest cuisines.
A serious banquet in Turkey will consist of appetizers, usually mezes, soup, the main course, dessert and coffee (usually served with Turkish Delight). The mezes are traditionally served with raki. Turks usually switch then to wine or beer, although we observed a number of people drinking raki throughout the entire meal. And, of course, many Turks do not drink alcohol at all. As well, sparkling water is commonly consumed throughout the entire meal. Pomegranate juice is also very popular.
Restaurants in Turkey
We had a really enjoyable meal at Cin-Bal, near Fethiye on a Sunday afternoon. The place was full of family groups and indeed we were one of few tables for 2. It was great to watch the family interactions. And there is no doubt that children are made to feel just as welcome as the adults.
PLANNING AN UPCOMING
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DINNER PARTY MENU, complete with recipes!
Something a little different about Turkish restaurants, especially outside of Istanbul, is there is often no menu for the meze selection. They are made fresh every day and it depends what fresh ingredients can be sourced from the markets as to what mezes are made for the day. So instead of a menu, the waiter will take you up to the meze refrigerator to explain the available mezes.
We really enjoyed that and quite frankly it is smart marketing as when you see the beautiful presentations you will definitely order mixed mezes. They were all delicious!
Another quaint tradition with mezes is you should eat mezes in a garden or balcony setting and over a period of a couple of hours. Further, you should drink raki, the national drink, to accompany the mezes. That’s certainly one way to start the conversation flowing!
Indeed by the time we finished our whole 4 course meal at Cin-Bal, I noted with some embarrassment, the large group at the table next to us were still going with their mezes and they arrived before we did. You can read more about mezes here.
The bottom line at Turkish restaurants is you should take your time, enjoy yourself and partake in the wonderful art of conversation with your fellow guest(s). If you want a slow meal order one course at a time. If not everything is likely to come at once!
The most common dessert in Turkey is baklava and it is brilliant. It is made from, amongst other ingredients, pistachio rather than walnuts, as is common in Greece. There are other differences as well. You can read about Turkish baklava here.
We have not featured a baklava recipe on Compass & Fork, but we have provided a link in the menu to a good recipe if you would like to make it. If not, you can source it online or find it at a local pastry shop (depending where you live).
Another very common dessert in Turkey was fresh, seasonal fruit, served on a platter. Again, another platter dish to encourage conversation and allow you to linger at the end of the meal. Fruit is very good in Turkey, so it is no surprise it is so popular.
So without, further ado, here is the Turkish Dinner Party menu.
Compass & Fork Turkish Dinner Party Menu
We have featured many Turkish recipes over the last few months and as you have gathered we really enjoyed the food experience. So here are our favorites, difficult decision though it was! Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Enjoy!
Click on the picture or the link in the menu to retrieve the individual recipes.
Turkish Dinner Party Menu
Beet, Garlic & Yogurt Dip
Mixed Olive Salad
Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers
Yogurt Carrot Dip
accompanied with Raki
ENTREE (MAIN COURSE)
Stuffed Eggplants (Winter)
Shish Kebaps (summer)
or Fresh Seasonal Fruit
with Turkish Delight
Yakut Kavaklidere (if you can find it)
You can learn more about Turkish wine in our post about it.
We feature a dinner party from each country we visit, you can find an Italian Dinner Party menu here.