My end of London is filled with Turkish ocakbasis, literally filled. A walk down Kingsland Road (or Stoke Newington High Street, where it changes I'm not too sure), even in winter, is redolent of a British summer, the air filled with smoke and the unmistakable scent of fat igniting as it hits the glowing coals. Whilst all the restaurants serve the same gorgeous mix of lamb and chicken, off and on the bone, whole or minced into spiced adana, what comes with these kebabs varies between establishments, sometimes within establishments even where one week's grated carrot is another's cucumber, onion and tomato.
For me the 6 balls plus bonus of this salad lottery is the charcoal cooked onion segments, their sweetness offset with tart pomegranate molasses, sumac adding fragrance and parsley its inimitable freshness. I thought I'd give it a go at home this weekend and was very pleased with the result, and that was just using the kitchen grill. If you're blessed with a barbecue I imagine it would be better still and it sits perfectly alongside any flame-grilled meats, Turkish or not.
Turkish Grilled Onion, Pomegranate Molasses and Sumac Salad
1 Large White Onion
A handful of flat-leaf parsley
A tablespoon or two of pomegranate molasses
1/2 ts sumac
Cut the onion into eighths and skewer, either onto metal or bamboo that has been soaked.
Grill or barbecue over a high heat for a few minutes a side until nicely charred and softened through.
Remove onto a plate, breaking the segments up, drizzle with the molasses then scatter the parlsey and sumac on top, adding a sprinkle of salt if you want.
Serve as part of a mezze or any other meal you think it would go with.