From November, and right through into the colder months of winter, the stalls of Fethiye market and Çalış market are piled high with winter greens. And there is something oh-so-tempting about the sight of emerald green ‘trees’ of broccoli.
We would never have written such a sentence a few years ago. Never would we have had broccoli on the shopping list. But now, thanks to our various experiments with seasonal produce in Turkey, broccoli is one of our favourite vegetables.
But what of Turkish broccoli recipes? We love to make broccoli and potato soup, we make bakes with pasta, curries, Chinese-style stir fry dishes, a broccoli frittata. In Turkey, however, it’s a very simple broccoli recipe that reigns. A meze. Broccoli salad. Or, to give it its correct Turkish name: Brokoli Salatası.
This recipe was passed on to us by a friend soon after we told her about our new found appreciation of this winter vegetable. It’s very quick and simple and really worth a try – even if you think you don’t like broccoli.
You might just surprise yourself.
A Turkish Broccoli Salad Recipe – Brokoli Salatası
This Turkish broccoli recipe is also popular in restaurants. Peer into the meze fridges – especially in the seafood restaurants – and you will often see a glass serving dish with a display of cooked broccoli florets.
If you have ever seen one of these displays, you’ll know that the Turkish broccoli salad is not about cutting off each tiny floret. Allow for good sized chunks.
If you take a head of broccoli and cut off the chunky stem at the bottom, you’ll see some larger florets that will fall away naturally.
Think broccoli lollipops. And just as lollipops have sticks, leave the stems on your florets. If your broccoli is really fresh these stems are so crunchy and sweet!
This Turkish broccoli salad is simply a case of blanching your florets in boiling water until they become a vibrant green. This will only take a few minutes because your florets need to have a good bite.
After 4-5 minutes, pour your broccoli into a colander and pour cold water over it to prevent it from cooking further and losing its vibrant green colour.
Then you can arrange your florets in your serving bowl. We like to display ours as in the photo above so that the florets absorb more of the dressing.
Your Salad Needs A Dressing
We break with tradition, here, a little. If you get your broccoli meze in a restaurant, it will typically be dressed in a garlic, lemon and olive oil mix.
We’re still sticking with a traditional Turkish ingredient. In winter, we’re also enjoying pomegranate season so sometimes, as in the photo above, we substitute lemon for nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses).
Finely chopped garlic, olive oil and pomegranate molasses are mixed with salt and pepper until a sauce is formed. This dressing is then drizzled over the top of your broccoli.
Our Recipe For Turkish Broccoli Salad – Brokoli Salatası
Turkish Broccoli Salad Recipe (Brokoli Salatası)
- 1 head of broccoli approx 400g
- 1 clove garlic peeled & finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 dessert spoonful pomegranate molasses or juice of 1 lemon
- salt & pepper to season
For The Broccoli
- Remove the thick stem from your broccoli and cut the florets into large, bite-sized pieces, leaving the stems.
- Bring a deep saucepan of water to the boil and plunge the florets into the water.
- Boil for no more than 5 minutes - remove as the florets just begin to soften and take on a bright green colour.
- Remove from the heat and pour into your colander.
- Now pour cold water over them so that the broccoli doesn't continue to cook and lose its colour.
For The Dressing
- Add your olive oil, garlic, pomegranate molasses (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to a ramekin dish.
- Stir vigorously until everything is mixed and your ingredients are no longer separated.
- Arrange your broccoli florets onto a serving dish.
- Drizzle your dressing over your florets.
- Leave at room temperature and allow your dressing to absorb into the florets for around 20 minutes.
- Serve your Turkish broccoli salad either as a side to a main meal or a separate meze dish.
- Calories in our Turkish broccoli salad are approximate and are based on 1 serving of 4.
- If you don't have pomegranate molasses (nar ekşisi), fresh lemon juice is a good substitute.
- Turkish broccoli salad can also be served with a yoghurt dressing.
And that’s how we make Turkish broccoli salad.
Trust us when we tell you that this Turkish broccoli recipe is so tasty and moreish. Quite often when we make this salad, we eat it just as it is, as finger food. Broccoli lollipops, remember?
Of course, it makes a perfect side to fish and grilled meats. It’s also a great addition to your meze table.
Turkish Broccoli Salad Recipe – Afternotes
- This recipe is also suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
- If the dressing is not to your liking, Turkish broccoli salad can also incorporate a yoghurt dip. This can be the same dip used in our other winter vegetable recipes: chayote (Rodos Kabağı) recipe, our roasted Brussels sprouts meze and our recipe for roasted cauliflower with yoghurt dip.