Turkish Spoon Salad, aka Gavurdagi


Visiting Istanbul, I fell in love with a unique salad called Gavurcağı, a flavor combination I’d never experienced before.

During my whirlwind one-and-a-half-day visit, I explored the historic heart of the city, savoring its incredible cuisine. From succulent kebabs and flaky börek to a unique pomegranate hummus with spicy sausage and endless cups of tea, every bite was a revelation.

Like many cultures worldwide, Turkey boasts a rich tradition of meze, a selection of small plates perfect for sharing and creating a sense of community.

Spain has its tapas, Italy offers antipasti, the Middle East and Turkey delights in mezze, and China wows with dim sum – all these culinary traditions share a common thread: comfort food served in small portions, fostering a sense of connection and conversation as you explore a kaleidoscope of tastes.

Istanbul weaves a spell that lingers long after you leave, there is something exceptional about this city. It’s a city that weaves together the magic of food, and the warmth of its people, all set against a backdrop of rich history and vibrant culture. On my whirlwind visit, I was swept away by this unique mixture.

Turkish Spoon Salad

Istanbul in a Day and a Half

Despite only having a whirlwind one-and-a-half-day visit, Istanbul’s historic heart captivated me. The city pulsed with life, offering a treasure trove of sights and experiences.

To navigate the bustling streets, I took a chance and hired a local cab driver for my stay. This turned out to be a brilliant decision! Reviews online worried me, but my driver proved to be a gem. He possessed an insider’s knowledge of the old city, weaving through the labyrinthine streets and guiding me to hidden gems. His recommendations led me to some of the most incredible culinary delights I encountered. Feeling safe and well-cared for, I truly felt like I was experiencing Istanbul through the eyes of a local.

One of the most delightful aspects of my short Turkish adventure was diving headfirst into their culinary traditions, particularly the delightful world of Meze.

Turkish Spoon Salad

If you’re a seafood fan, I think you’d love Akın Balik. It’s this fantastic fish restaurant that serves up delicious traditional food at prices that won’t break the bank. During the day, it’s a perfect spot for a shady lunch by the water, and at night, they transform the place into this charming, fairy-lit space. It’s the ideal place for a relaxing and tasty meal!

The bustling Spice Bazaar in Istanbul stole my heart!
Sure, the Grand Bazaar gets all the fame for its size, but the Spice Bazaar is where it’s at for an unforgettable experience. It’s a feast for the senses – mountains of colorful spices piled high, intoxicating aromas filling the air, and friendly vendors offering tastes of their delicious treats.

Turkish Spoon Salad, aka Gavurdagi

From the very first bite, I’ve been hooked on its bright, fresh flavors. It’s bursting with a lovely zing, making it the ideal partner for kebabs and grilled meats. But honestly, it’s so good, that it could easily be the show’s star as a starter all on its own. Turkish cuisine has its unique flair, and it has a close connection to Middle Eastern cuisine, but there are some interesting distinctions:

  • Ingredients: Both rely heavily on fresh vegetables, olives, lamb, and flatbreads.
  • Spices: Warm spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon are common in both.
  • Meze: The delightful small plates for sharing are a staple in Turkish and Middle Eastern meals.
  • Dishes: You’ll find variations of popular dishes like dolma (stuffed vegetables) and kebabs across the region.

Turkish Spoon Salad with Flaked Cod

This salad is absolutely one of my all-time favorites.
I love its versatility – it’s so customizable and goes with everything!
It’s the perfect accompaniment to any kind of protein,
whether it’s grilled meats, juicy shrimp, or a flaky piece of cod

Turkish Spoon Salad

The Taste

From the very first bite, I’ve been hooked on its bright, fresh flavors.
Earthy, Minty, Spicy and Fruity
That salad is bursting with a lovely zing, making it the ideal partner for kebabs, grilled meats, and grilled seafood.

         The Process

Turkish Spoon Salad is known for its simplicity and delicious flavor.
While chopping all the ingredients might take a little time, the result is a refreshing and flavorful salad that perfectly complements many dishes.

         The Verdict

If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful salad, Turkish Spoon Salad is a great option.
The chopped vegetables and flavorful dressing are like a blank canvas, just begging for me to get creative.
Olives, crumbled feta cheese, briny capers – you name it, I can toss it in!


Turkish Spoon Salad

Chef Norbert
Prep Time 1 hour
Course Salad
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 417 kcal

Recommended Equipment


Salad Ingredients

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch mint leaves fresh
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 ounce walnuts
  • 1 bell pepper green, seeds removed
  • 2 green Serrano chili seeds removed


Make a DIY Vegetable Wash

  • Fill your kitchen sink about 2/3 full with cold water, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the water, and swish it around to distribute. Add the bell pepper and the serrano peppers, add mint, parsley, and tomatoes, and soak for 15 to 20 minutes minutes. Time and baking soda can help remove pesticides. The longer you soak the produce, the more effective the wash becomes. Wash produce thoroughly and rinse well with cold water.

Prep the Ingredients

  • Dry the parsley and mint in a salad spinner. Then, remove the stalks from the flat-leaf parsley and mint and chop. Remove the cores from the tomatoes and finely chop them. Chop the walnuts. Finely chop the red onion. Halve the serrano peppers and bell pepper, remove the seeds, and finely chop them. Place all the ingredients in a bowl.
    6 tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 bunch mint leaves fresh, 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, 1 bell pepper, 2 green Serrano chili, 4 ounce walnuts

Make the Sumac Dressing

  • Mix the sumac, pomegranate molasses, apple cider vinegar, Aleppo pepper, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt to a dressing
    1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper, 1 tbsp sumac, 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, 2 ounce extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 pinch sea salt

Serve the Salad

  • Mix the chopped ingredients with the sumac dressing, sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top, and serve
    5 ounce pomegranate seeds


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword pomegranate, Spoon salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Join the Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    5 stars
    My family loved this!

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