This salad is a very special one for me as I learnt it from dad. The word ‘salad’ is generally used for various combinations of raw vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, scallions and other greens or combinations of raw fruits. However, this one is totally different. It takes the name of ‘warm salad’ as it is cooked, none of the vegetables in it is raw.
This warm salad is made especially in Mediterranean region of Turkey. In rural areas of this region, people work in agriculture and in forest. Agriculture workers cultivate lots of fruits, vegetables and cereals. As for the forest workers, they are devided into two groups. Some log the full grown trees like pine to send the logs to the industrial area while the others plant new young trees in places of these logged trees to renew forests. Warm salad is so important for these workers. They usually get up so early in the morning and almost never hit the road without having warm salad as breakfast. As it is hot and spicy, after eating it, workers do not get cold while working. It is both filling and easy to digest when compared to raw salads, so workers in this region prefer it.
Dad worked in that region as a teacher years ago and he had good relationships with the people of the region. He always tells us how those people were so respectful and hospitable to teachers. There used to be one school in such rural areas, so teachers of that school were so precious for them. There were generally two or three teachers and they were always invited to a house of someone for dinner. People would always bring some products of their areas to teachers. As a result of this good relationship, dad learnt this warm salad from these people during his working years in that region and it became one of his favorite food at breakfast. I remember that he used to wake my brother and me up with the fantastic smell of this salad. Noone can resist dipping a slice of bread in this salad at breakfast. At first, one may think that this salad can not be for breakfast and it is more suitable for lunch or dinner, but it makes you addicted after the first try.
Ingredients (serving: 4)
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 sweet green peppers
- 4 small hot green peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
Wash all vegetables. To peel the tomatoes easily, wait them in hot water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan. Chop sweet green peppers and saute them. Put the hot peppers in the pan as a whole, do not chop them. Then peel the tomatoes and dice them. Cut the garlic cloves into two. Put tomatoes and garlic in the pan, stir and cover it. After about 15 minutes, add salt, cumin and paprika, stir and take it from heat. Serve this salad on plates and put 1 small hot green pepper on each. If you can’t eat it spicy, you may not add those spices.
Preperation for Summer
As it is summer now, all vegetables and fruits start exercising to look fit. They didn’t do any sports during winter, so they gained weight and now it’s time to lose those weights. They find it so boring to exercise alone, and the clever tomato suggests doing it together. she reads on a paper that you are more successful in losing weight when you exercise with others. That’s why they decide to meet and jog together. However, it’s still not easy for tomato to jog as much as others, she gets tired easily as she is to weak to carry herself. Someone must tell her that people love her plump. (drawing by mom)