What is ezme? Ezme is a Turkish tomato and pepper relish or salsa that is out of this world. Think of it as salsa’s Turkish cousin. I had one bite at a Turkish restaurant and I was in love. I vowed to replicate it at home so I could enjoy it anytime I wanted. So here I am sharing it with you.
When I discovered ezme
I recently tried ezme for the first time at a Turkish restaurant in downtown Cincinnati. My husband and I were at a conference and we asked some locals where to go get good ethnic food. We ended up at Istanbul Cafe, a charming family owned restaurant. The service was impeccable and the food out of this world. I highly recommend it.
Deciding what to eat was so hard.
We wanted one of everything! We always have this rule when we go to a new restaurant. We each order an appetizer and we each try a different entree. On the recommendation of the waiter we ordered the appetizer sampler which contained the Turkish salad, ezme, dolmas, hummus, and delicious warm pita bread. I need to confess that we ate every morsel. Regretfully, we could not lick the plate at the risk of being evicted, or looked at in a questionable way.
Turkish food is so diverse because it has so many culinary influences. Standing as the bridge between east and west Turkey shares the ancient culinary influences of the Arab, Greek and the Roman Empire. Now, that’s variety!
I am so glad to have found Mezzetta peppers because they are perfect for this dish. Their flavor is fresh and they have a wide variety of products too. You can also serve them by themselves. These are the best quality peppers I have found and Mezzetta specialty foods has grown to become the leading producer of glass-packed peppers, olives, and specialty foods in the United States. Their peppers are harvested at the peak of ripeness from local farmers around the world, and bring the delicious flavors to life with proprietary brines. I have a friend who loves their roasted red peppers served plain on a piece of toasted French bread. Deeelish!
What makes my ezme recipe so great is that it’s made with fresh ingredients. This is typical of all Turkish food. You can take this tasty appetizer to a summer tapas party or picnics and amaze your friends with your “new recipe”.
Ezme -Turkish Tomato Pepper Salad
Here is a spicy Turkish salsa or mezze type dish. This is a popular side dish to be served in restaurants. Sometimes it may be referred to as a fresh Turkish chilli sauce or type of salad served with kebabs.
- 4 tomatoes diced diced
- 1/2 onion small, diced
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp jalapenos deli sliced, pickled or jarred type
- 2 Tbsp curly parsley finely chopped
- 1 tsp mint fresh, chopped
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon fresh squeezed juice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 dash cinnamon
- In a glass or ceramic bowl mix diced tomatoes, onions, parsley, red peppers, jalapenos, and mint. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl place the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Pour over the tomato mixture, stirring to coat all the ingredients.
- Let mixture sit for about 2 hours before serving.
- Serve with warm pita bread