So this is what happens when you’re forced to cook in a kitchen the size of a toilet cubicle and it’s the middle of the night and you’ve been singing my heart will go on on endless loop for four hours in the dark and you get up cos you have seriously major munchies and there’s nothing in your tiny fridge but a bag of mushrooms, some cheese and a bowl of olives and you think “when the hell did I start eating like an eighty year old russian man, I must get one of those old white singlets and those hush puppy slippers with the tartan on them and some cabbage.”
Turkish gozleme are like the ultimate festival food. Crunchy fried dough filled with all kinds of tasty stuff. Because it’s a pretty basic dough, put whatever you want in there: roast chicken, spinach, leftover whatever in the back of the fridge. And like all good festival foods, they work wonders for hangovers. Or midnight snacks. Or small kitchens.
Oh, and our friend col never shuts up about how much he loves gozleme so that was another reason to learn how to make them. If you have a friend named colin, you should try making these too. Col, this be for you.
350g plain flour
150ml tepid water
6 medium sized mushrooms (like swiss brown or portobello)
2 large handfuls of mache or baby spinach
100g crumbly feta
100g green olives (get the best marinated ones from your deli – we used some flavoured with cinnamon and preserved lemon for this)
50g melted butter
small bunch of parsley
small bunch of mint
oilve oil, for frying
lemon cheeks, for serving
Mix the flour and water with a pinch of salt to form a rough dough. When it comes together, knead on a dusted work surface until smooth. Roll into a log about 5cm thick. Cover with gladwrap and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, finely chop the mushrooms and gently fry in olive oil. When they have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, add the mache or baby spinach and fry until wilted. Remove from the heat to cool, add the feta and adjust the seasoning if required. Don’t forget that the dough itself is not salty so you can slightly over-season the filling to account for this.
To make the tapenade, remove the seeds from the olives and mince the flesh as finely as possible. Add some olive oil to loosen the paste and combine thoroughly.
When you are ready to pull everything together, cut 5cm lengths of dough and flatten them with the palm of your hand. Stretch the dough with a rolling pin to about 25cm in diameter and around 2mm thick. Brush the dough lightly with softened butter before spreading it with a thin layer of the filling mixture. Roll it into a cigar shape and brush the length of one side with some more butter. Roll the cigar into a tightish snail along the buttered edge so it sticks together and dust the top and bottom with flour. Gently roll the snail out flat to about half a centimetre thick.
Lightly grease a frypan and fry the gozleme over a medium heat until the outside goes crispy and golden. Serve with the tapenade, a salad of torn parsley and mint leaves and some lemon cheeks to squeeze all over.