Turkey : gözleme with smoked aubergine, feta and mint

GözlemeI’ll start off this first post by acknowledging one thing: I love Turkish food!!! It’s so full of flavours and fragrant… what’s not to like?? Having some Turkish ancestry myself, it seemed normal to me to start with a recipe from this beautiful country: gözleme.

Gözleme are Turkish street food, thin pastries filled with different ingredients (spinach & cheese, minced meat, potatoes, etc…). They’re usually prepared with their special dough and baked on a griddle or in a heavy pan. So far as I’m concerned, I prefer the lighter version made with phyllo pastry and baked in the oven.

For this recipe, I chose to go with that of the Delicious Istanbul blog, with a few tweaks of my own.

Makes about 15 small gözleme

1 250gr-package phyllo pastry (or yufka if you can find)
1 kg aubergines (about 4-5)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
200gr crumbled feta
One small batch fresh mint (about 10gr), finely chopped
Cumin poudre
Salt & pepper
Some vegetable oil

Start by roasting your aubergines: put your oven in the grill setting. Lined a tray with aluminium, wash the aubergines and pop them on your tray. Roast about 30 minutes on each side.
Once roasted, remove the aubergines from the oven. Slit them lengthwise and scrape the inside into a sieve (careful, it’s PIPING hot!!). Pass a knife through to chop into small pieces and allow to drain for about 24hrs.
Preheat your oven at 200°C/392°F, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a bowl, chop the aubergines. Add the lemon juice, mint, feta and cumin. Salt and pepper to taste.
Stack 2-3 phyllo (or yufka) sheets on top of each other, and slice into strips 5-6cm wide. Keep the rest of your phyllo in a damp cloth to keep it from drying out while you’re working.
Drop a few teaspoons of the aubergine mix onto one end of the phyllo strip, and fold into triangles and you would for a samosa.
Brush from oil on both side before putting them on your tray.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes on each side, or until golden.

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