Crunchy tasty filo tart with leftovers - Hello Istanbul


Tomorrow this time we will sit with husband (and his nephew) in a romantic little street cafe in ISTANBUL! (Probably will be asleep in our beds actually - it's quite late.)


We booked a week in Istanbul. We never do holidays just the two of us. We are always visiting his family or mine, usually with his kids, which I don't mind. But still. You know. Actually Istanbul will include a visit from husband's nephew, but hey ho. I've met him before, he's a nice young man and will just follow us happily like a puppy dog whatever we choose to do. The more the merrier, right?

At least I cleverly averted the family room idea by lying that there were no family rooms available in the entire country for the entire year. Although I was momentarily excited by the idea of getting an apartment and cooking for us, but when in Istanbul, we must eat all the lovely local lovelities. Fresh salads,seafood, mezze and dips and things. The boys will take care of the kebabs, I'm sure. Yum.

And so much history and so much to see. We will have a fantastic time and hopefully won't be blown up.

I told Dad (didn't have the nerve to tell mum, so Dad can either tell her or keep her in the little bag of cotton wool that she's lived in most of her life) and that was his first question, are you going to blow up. But we live in London and could be blown up anytime we go to Westfields. And where would be safe to travel these days anyway, Brussels? Paris? Palmyra? Actually Palmyra might be OK now after it was freed by Russia and Assad, the two great forces of good in the world. Oh, it hurts my head.

My parents' village though, which I will be visiting again end of the month, that one's not a good spot for a suicide bomber, you'd never find a bigger crowd than two people and a dog in your bomb's catchment area. UNLESS!! Unless your target the annual charity auction organized by the local sports club. Gets very busy. My Dad successfully got rid of some of my belongings there after he got sick of them gathering dust (and mice and moles) in his what was supposed to be woodshed, but became the adventurous daughter's crapshed. I cleared it all out a few years ago. He was happier than on his wedding day getting his shed back. I actually caught him coming back from the veggie patch and just opening the shed door a bit and looking in. Bless him and his simple pleasures.

So off to Istanbul we go. He who is afraid does not gain or whatever the saying says. Also I have heard that Turkish people are really lovely, friendly and hospitable, so we want to do something for them. Tourism is very important for the economy and they are struggling now with so many people staying away. So it's not about cheap flights and hotels, but philantropy, charity, can't help it, I just have to help others.

I am looking forward to the bazaar - I want to buy colourful tablecloths, bowls, spices and other local food things. I know we will end up being completely freaked out by the hassling and will do some quick desperate purchases and run away as always happens when we enter a bazaar or souk, I'm even freaked out by the ever so slightly too friendly lady at the John Lewis Foodhall cheese shop who explained to me all about the dresses she'd already bought for her son's wedding which is in May 2017 if anyone's interested. Lots of dresses, is what she's got. And she will get more. And I just wanted some taleggio.

So tonight's dinner was from the "empty the fridge" category. In the fridge I had a pack of filo pastry and a selection of herbs and vegetables, cheeses and stuff, in the freezer half used packs of smoked salmon. So a lovely salmon and veg tart and green salad was our leaving dinner tonight.

Left-over fish and veg tart

1 pack of filo pastry
Sesame seeds
whatever's in the fridge
some kind of cheese, or even better two kinds of cheese
zest and juice of one lemon

Layer the filo on a lightly oiled oven tray - I brushed each layer with oil (you can use melted butter - yum) and sprinkled wiih sesame seeds. I did 6 layers because that's what was in the pack.

For the filling I had some hot smoked salmon, cold smoked salmon and veggies, some asparagus, some marinated courgettes and eggplant, spring onions, dill and tomatoes, but chuck on whatever's in the fridge. Season with juice and zest of a lemon, salt and pepper. Top with chunks of goat's or feta and parmesan. Again any cheese will do.

Bake in 200C for 20 minutes or until done.

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