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Okra, Vegan Sausage, Cranberry Red Potato, Mushroom, Spinach with Garlic, Brown Rice Noodles, and Turkish Acılı Ezme s

Posted Aug 22 2011 12:53am
Last night, we enjoyed, as we do each year, the puppet show by Paperhand Puppet Intervention . After the show, we went out to eat at Talulla's , a very nice Turkish restaurant that has many vegan choices.

One of the dishes that we had as an appetizer was Acili Ezme, "a spread made of spicy red peppers, tomatoes, green peppers, walnuts and Aegean olive oil" (I just found a recipe for it online). We thought that this was a dip that we had enjoyed in the past, but when it came out, both my wife and I found it really too spicy to enjoy. We somehow ate a little with the bread that they served, but brought most of it home - I realized that this could be a great dish-maker diluted with, what I was thinking then, rice.

When considering further tonight, I decided to make today's main dish more vegetable than grain centered. Here is what I did (serving with avocado and grape tomato) - we both loved the dish:

  1. I started with a half dozen Cranberry Red (also known as "All Red") potatoes, which I chopped into small 3/8" cubes. I purchased these local organic potatoes at the Carrboro Farmer's Market ; they are red on the outside and pink inside. They are firm and taste good boiled (e.g., for a potato salad) or sauteed. I sauteed the potatoes over medium-high, using Meyer lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil.
  2. While the potatoes were cooking, I soaked a handful of brown rice noodles in hot tap water.
  3. About 4 or 5 minutes into the cooking, I added two Field Roast Grain Meat Company 's apple-sage artisanal vegan sausages that I had cut into similar sized cubes as the potato.
  4. Just after that, I added a clove (not an entire bulb!) of garlic, finely diced.
  5. After another 3 or 4 minutes, when the sausage was starting to brown, I added 15-20 small-medium spears of okra, cut into halves lengthwise
  6. A minute or two later, I added a dozen or so cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters.
  7. A minute or two later, with the dish basically done, I added a handful of baby spinach leaves.
  8. I let the spinach cook down for just a minute or so, then added the drained brown rice noodles.
  9. I stirred till the noodles were cooked, then mixed in the leftover Acili Ezme (I had about an eighth of a cup of it) and a dash of salt - and served!

What a nice ingredient the Acili Ezme is! I will plan to pick more up from the restaurant and use it in other dishes.
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