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Vegetarian Turkish food

Terrific Vegetarian Turkish Food at Turquoise

20131218-277539-turquoise-bread-edit.jpg[Photographs: Amber Gibson]

Last month, I had a chance to spend a week in Istanbul, Turkey, where I fell in love with the ingredients and flavors of Turkish cuisine. There were pomegranates, lamb, eggplant, chestnuts, pistachios, honey, and spices galore. I discovered some of the best kebabs I’d ever eaten, vegetable mezes braised simply in olive oil and brightened with lemon, and some exceptional Turkish delight. I even tried a sandwich similar to döner kebab, but made with shaved lamb intestines.

This was food that I hadn’t eaten in Chicago before and when I returned, I started searching for the best Turkish food in the city.20131218-277539-istanbul-lamb-intestines.jpg After trying several different restaurants, I am most impressed with the flavors at Turquoise, which was also recommended to me by a Turkish friend who grew up in Istanbul but has lived in Chicago for many years. My waitress said the restaurant has been around for 12 years now and it’s definitely a popular neighborhood spot and children are welcome.

From Monday through Thursday nights, there is even a four course prix-fixe dinner option for just .20131218-277539-turquoise-arugula-salad-edit.jpg This includes either a soup or salad, followed by an appetizer, main course and dessert. There are plenty of selections on the prix fixe menu, including several vegetarian options. Portions are very generous, and they are happy to box up anything you can’t finish. This is one of the best value meals I’ve enjoyed in Chicago in quite some time.

20131218-277539-turquoise-sogurme-edit.jpgDinner begins with warm Turkish leavened bread, baked in-house and served with a carrot yogurt dip. For my first course, I chose an arugula salad with red wine poached pears and pomegranate molasses, and found the sweetness from the fruit was a nice counterpoint to the sharp bitterness of the greens.

Next came söğürme, a smoky eggplant purée with yogurt, toasted walnuts, and pepper that is similar to baba ghanoush, but this was served warm and perfect for spooning onto my bread.

My main course was was interestingly enough named “Turkish delight” on the menu, but it had nothing to do with the chewy cornstarch sweets that go by the same name. Instead, this was a medley of sautéed vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, baby carrot, bok choy, and garlic served on a large pate of hummus, and then sprinkled with pine nuts and Turkish golden apricot. This was an incredibly satisfying and flavorful dish without a heavy dose of carbs.

20131218-277539-turquoise-veggies-hummus-edit.jpg 20131218-277539-turquoise-dessert-edit.jpg
Tuttle Publishing Silk Road Vegetarian: Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Recipes for the Mindful Cook
Book (Tuttle Publishing)

Greek islanders visit Turkey for grocery shopping  — Daily Sabah
.. many people come to Turkey from the Greek Islands including Lesbos. "Greek tourists come to Kemeraltı between 10:00 a.m. and 04:30p.m. Within this time period, they spend [quite a bit].

Nur Roy Aegean Recipes, Vegetarian Dishes
eBooks (Nur Roy)
SelectWisely Vegetarian Translation Card - Translated in Turkish or any of 67 languages
Health and Beauty (SelectWisely)
  • Our Vegetarian Translation Card provided in Turkish. If you need another language select it in the Flavor dropdown above.
  • Prevent serious allergic reactions when traveling by showing the card to restaurant staff to clearly convey your issues/concerns.
  • Clearly understanding your issues and/or concerns restaurant staff help you select and safely prepare your meal.
  • Professionally translated by expert translators that are native to target language.
  • Durable laminated credit card-sized card fits easily in your wallet or pocket.
Attic Press The Cafe Paradiso Cookbook (Atrium Press)
Book (Attic Press)
Frys Milk Chocolate Turkish Delight Rose Flavour by Frys Milk Chocolate Turkish Delight Rose Flavour [Foods]
Grocery ()
  • Exquisitely sweet rose flavoured Turkish delight wrapped in smooth milk chocolate
  • Suitable for Vegetarians
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