Silver Travel Cook Club

April 2023 – The Turkish Cookbook

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.

This month we’re heading to Turkey with our partner Classic Collection and learning how to make Turkish Spinach and Feta Cigars.

You could win a copy of The Turkish Cookbook: Exploring the Food of a Timeless Cuisine by Ghillie Basan.

This glorious volume by award-winning author and traveller-cook Ghillie Basan looks in detail at the culinary history and geography, the customs and festivities, as well as the local ingredients, and presents a tantalizing selection of classic regional recipes.

‘Greet a Turk and you will eat.’ Whether you are in the busy streets of Istanbul, in a small village in Anatolia, on the slopes above Bursa, or in a resort in the Mediterranean, the enticing aroma of grilling, baking, and spices fills the air – warm bread rings covered in sesame seeds; deep-fried mussels with a garlicky sauce; roasted chestnuts, almonds and pistachio nuts; savoury pastries filled with melting cheese; lamb roasting on a spit; aubergines smoking over charcoal; and the scent of fresh peaches. You can try Ottoman puddings in Istanbul; juicy apricots stuffed with rice in Cappadocia; anchovy pilaf along the Black Sea coast; fiery kebabs served on a sword in Adana; and the hallucinogenic honey of Kars in eastern Anatolia. The Turks are passionate about their cuisine.

Travel to Turkey for an Unforgettable Holiday (and Culinary Adventure)

Treat yourself to a special holiday in Turkey with Classic Collection – a country abundant in both ancient history and natural wonders. From coastlines shimmering in shades of blue, to rolling pine-clad hills and verdant valleys, you won’t be short of captivating places to explore. Dive into the dazzling Aegean Sea and get lost in the cobbled streets of Bodrum, or head west and relax in the crystal-clear waters of the Turquoise Coast, where dramatic, vibrant green hills are your backdrop.

And don’t forget about central Turkey’s Cappadocia region – home to dramatic canyons adorned with homes, churches and now some incredible hotels carved into the cliffs. Savour delectable dishes full of local flavour when you visit this incredible country – from simple meze dishes and grilled kebabs, to sumptuous seafood feasts and rich tasting menus. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder Turkey is such a sought-after destination.

To find out more, visit Classic Collection

Recipe: Turkish Spinach and Feta Cigars

The recipe for these traditional Turkish spinach and feta cigars is simple and the result delicious – a perfect appetiser or addition to any meal.

Turkish Spinach and Feta Cigars


  • 500g spinach, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 packet filo pastry (approx 300g)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter/margarine (for brushing the pastry)


  1. Start by sautéing the garlic in olive oil until slightly softened.
  2. Add the spinach leaves, season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5 minutes or until wilted.
  3. Transfer contents to a bowl and let it cool down completely before adding the crumbled feta into the mix.
  4. Now you’re ready to roll! Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush with butter. Place ½ cup of spinach and feta mixture onto the pastry sheet, then fold it into a triangle shape (lengthwise). Continue brushing each triangle lightly with butter/margarine as you layer them on top of each other. Once you have formed a hefty cigar shape – voila!
  5. Brush surface one last time with melted butter/margarine before baking at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 – 15 mins or until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm for maximum enjoyment!

How to win a copy of The Turkish Cookbook: Exploring the Food of a Timeless Cuisine by Ghillie Basan

Turkish food is not just kebabs and baklavas. Comment below to tell us about a Turkish meal you’ve enjoyed – or why you would like to visit one of Europe’s most beautiful destinations.

A winner will be chosen at random in early May 2023.
The competition closes on 30 April 2023.

See all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.

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39 Responses

  1. There is a fantastic Turkish restaurant in Wolverton called Antep Kitchen. The meals are beautifully cooked meats, fresh breads, perfect vegetables and great service all at great prices.

  2. My favourite Turkish meal is stuffed aubergines 🍆 with spicy 🐑 lamb. I also love the balloon 🎈 bread as a starter. My favourite kebab is lamb as the meat 🥩 is so tender

  3. I love Turkish food and my favourite dish is pide, an oval-shaped flatbread pizza. I always find it hard to choose a topping as they are all so delicious, but I often opt for sucuk, a spicy beef sausage. I particularly love eating it at the restaurant Gökyüzü, as it’s only a five-minute walk from home. Washed down with a pint of Efes Turkish beer, it’s always a Turkish treat.

  4. I love Turkish food and like a so mezze platter so you get a selection of dishes.

  5. I shared a wonderful Turkish meal to celebrate Christmas in Milton Keynes a few years ago! So refreshingly different to turkey and veg! Everything came on sharing platters and it was a really fun evening topped off by Turkish dancing! The food was delicious- lots of little tasty dishes to start with then massive platters of rice ,grains and kebabs with salad and dips finished off with sweet treats and Turkish coffee!

  6. I have never tried Turkish Food but would love to as it always looks so beautiful and meals are made into such occasions it would be a real experience.

  7. I remember a Turkish meal a few years ago where the lamb kebabs were gorgeous. However my favourite was the filo pastry sweet selection!

  8. Never having cooked Turkish good, but eaten it in restaurants, a good cookbook would be very useful.

  9. I would love to visit Turkey, to meet friendly locals and sample their culinary delights.

  10. My friend used to hold a ‘Turkish Day’ when she cooked all the dishes she learned while she lived there and invited us all around. Fond memories

  11. Never been to Turkey so this cookbook would give me a chance to try and saviour this country with a view to visiting one day!

  12. Kofte meatballs served in pita bread are delicious especially served on a beach in Marmaris.

  13. I love all Middle Eastern food and enjoy the ambience created by sharing dishes with so much to choose from.

  14. I spent a year in Turkey during the first Gulf War and would love to return. There were way too many fantastic meals to choose just one favourite…but the bread…so hot from the oven it almost burnt your fingers…had to be the highlight of most meals!

  15. I love Turkish food but Imam bayildi would have to be one of my favourites – anything with eggplant would do!

  16. My favourite dish is Sarma. I love these stuffed cabbage leaves. Also I can never pass a stall selling freshly squeezed pomegranate juice without buying a glass.

  17. My favourite treat is baklava with strong Turkish tea served in those small tulip-shaped glasses which you have to hold by the rim to save your fingertips. I even bought a set for myself.

  18. In October 2019 I enjoyed a fabulous meal of grilled fish served with Mediterranean vegetables in the indoor market in Fethiye. A simple but delicious meal shared with a delightful couple I (a single traveller) met during the preceding sunset cruise. A memorable evening.

  19. We enjoyed the loaded baked potato when were in Istanbul a few years ago. Great street food. Followed by ice cream, of course.

  20. We’ve only been to Turkey once but we ate a few times at a wonderful friendly restaurant in Fethiye – I can’t remember exactly what I had – mostly meze dishes probably – but I know the style of cooking was from the south east of Turkey and the recent tragic events there brought those meals back to mind

  21. I have never visited. Turkey and would love to enjoy Turkish. Cuisine in its own country I heave enjoyed Turkish cuisine in. London. Harpenden and in some of my Turkish colleagues homes love the warmth and the welcome that they both give

  22. One of my favourite dishes/cuts of meat has to be Incik Kebap- Turkish braised Lamb Shanks.once tried, you will include this dish on a regular basis

  23. I stayed in a beautiful valley on retreat near to Dalaman. I walked up in to the hills very early one morning and came across a little house with chickens, vegetables and a little old lady who beckoned me in to share breakfast. It was just me and her communicating with smiles. She put a vibrant flower tablecloth across the plastic table and added eggs, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, yoghourt, home made bread, cake, hand made jam and thick tea in glass cups.
    It was the most lovely experience.

  24. Many years ago I feasted on baclava about three hours before my main meal. Needless to say I didn’t have the main meal but have no regrets. Baclava is for me!

  25. I would love to visit Turkey. Heard the people are friendly and the food delightful. Scenery sounds good.

  26. My favourite Turkish food is Meze. All the dips with gorgeous bread, cooked aubergine, liver and onions and much more.

  27. Turkish restaurant offer so many vegetarian options, love the Tas restaurants in London

  28. I love Turkish food and winning this prize could save me a few visits to my local kebab shop!!

  29. I’ve never been to Turkey but have really enjoyed eating in Turkish restaurants in England. As long it is safe to travel, I would like to go to Turkey to explore the country and to show support for the people there

  30. Had an amazing meal in Capadocia in Bath with friends that we hadn’t seen for ages. Such a special evening.

  31. I’m hoping to go on a trip to Turkey next year, as I love the sound of all the historic sights to be seen there. In the meantime, I enjoy Turkish food, and particularly loved the hummus served at the Turkish Restaurant at the Royal Docks, London, when I lived in an apartment just above the restaurant.

  32. Yalikavak, the table at the very end of the Pier, waves lapping beneath us, lights coming on along the sea front and the reddest sunset I have ever seen. Couple that with a delicious Turkish seafood meal. Perfect.
    Or the table at the edge of the sand where the waves washed round our feet as we eat our delicious Turkish lunch. Perfect.
    Or the village garden where we watched our hostess cook our breakfast at her outdoor kitchen using her own garden produce. What a breakfast. Perfect.
    As I think back to that trip every meal was a culinary experience. Every meal Perfect.

  33. On our travels in Cappadocia we stayed at some traditional lodgings and enjoyed home cooked Turkish meals. They were amazing and so tasty. I would love to try some Turkish recipes for myself.

  34. We were at a rest stop for our trip and we saw our Turkey tour bus driver having breakfast. We asked him what he was eating and he gladly let us try it! It was so delicious and up to now, I’m trying to scour online what it was (I don’t think it was Turkish egg or shakshouka) and recreate at home. It was bread dipped in like a yoghurt texture with red sauce, olive oil and runny egg. Yum!

  35. I’ve only been to Turkey once; my friend wanted an early holiday, somewhere cheap and in the sun. It was April 2007 and as her son booked it for us I’ve forgotten the name of the hotel but it was in Marmaris and full-board. All meals were buffet style and I really enjoyed helping myself to what amounted to an enormous hot and cold meze at every meal but particularly remember eating okra for the first time. My friend, who is not very adventurous, always chose the `Special` of the day – some form of meat and two veg. I really enjoyed a day to the mud baths, boat ride on the Dalyan canal and seeing the Lycian tombs – very `touristy` and something I wouldn’t have done with my husband. In my area of Kent there are many Turkish restaurants but the one my family has visited many times in the past is Ozgur in Tenterden where I’ve enjoyed Baba Ghanoush or any vegetable stuffed with minced meat, tomatoes and peppers or Mussaka. The salads are also really good.

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