Köfte in the form of a vegetarian amuse-bouche. Very, very good!
- 4 all-purpose potatoes (such as bintje, yellow finn or desiree)
- 200 g (7 oz) fine burghul (bulgur) or semolina
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 spring onion bulbs (scallions), chopped
- 1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
- 1 handful mint, finely chopped
- pul biber (Aleppo pepper) or other chilli flakes (see Note)
- 1 lemon, juiced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Peel the potatoes, put in a medium saucepan and cover well with water. Add a little salt, bring to the boil and cook until tender to the point of a knife.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) salted water to the boil. Tip in the burghul, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Once the burghul has absorbed all the water, cover the pan, remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the spring onion and sauté for 3 minutes; remove from the heat. Next, add the parsley, mint and a generous pinch of chilli flakes or to taste. Season with salt.
Drain the potatoes, and mash to a purée (use a little of the cooking water if needed).
Once all the ingredients have cooled slightly (so you don’t burn yourself), combine and knead together in a large bowl. Shape into small balls between your palms.
Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with lemon juice and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
• Pul biber is the Turkish term for chilli flakes. Also known as Aleppo pepper, its sweetness and heat may vary. More moist than other chilli flakes, it is made from semi-dried and deseeded chillies. Look for it in Turkish or other Middle Eastern food shops, or substitute with other chilli flakes to taste.
Recipe and image from Istanbul: Cult Recipes by Pomme Larmoyer (Murdoch Books, $49.99, hbk). Read our review and find more recipes from the book here.