One of the things I like about Turkish food is their finely chopped salads. These are easy to eat, bite-size, no manhandling of enormous salad leaves or large chunks. They do something called a shepherds salad, very much like a typical Greek salad but with smaller pieces. And this tomato and pepper salad called Ezmé which is rather like a Turkish salsa. This salad is flavoured with spices such as the various types and hues of biber (pepper) which tend to be fragrant rather than hot. One such biber is a mild but deep smoky flavoured Turkish red pepper from the Urfa region that is sun dried then tightly wrapped at night to ferment. But you can use paprika and sumac instead.
Ezmé salad recipe
Serves 4 as a side
4 big ripe tasty tomatoes, chopped finely (I keep the seeds because I like seeds)
1 red pepper (finely diced)
4 or 5 spring onions, white and green part, sliced thinly
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsps pomegranate syrup
4 tbsps olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp sumac
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tbsp turkish biber (available here)
1 tbsp sea salt
Prep all the vegetables and herbs, chopping as finely as your knife skills will allow, so take your time, put a tea towel under your chopping board to steady it and sharpen your best knife. Then stir in the tomato puree, olive oil, lemon, pomegranate syrup, garlic. Then add your spices and salt to taste.
This is good as part of a meze, as an accompaniment to the main dish, or even as a salsa.