Weekend at the Mansion – Summer Tarts

July 02nd, 2007  | Category: Friends, Tarts and Pies, Vegetarian


We could finally breathe after the heat wave that slapped İstanbul on the face last week. With the humidity and the temperature over 100 F outside, I vegetated at my air-conditioned habitat.

The weather cooled down a bit on the weekend. We laid our beach towels, prepared ice-cold lemonades and started cooking.

There were quite a lot of people at my friends’ house (which we call The Mansion), so I baked two tarts. Recipe is the same, but the toppings are different.

The first one is a cherry tomato, black olive, feta cheese and dried oregano tart…

Tomato Olive tart

The second one has mozzarella cheese and a variation of grilled vegetables on top. Artichoke, red pepper, dried tomato and eggplant… Just drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top and it is ready to go.

Vegetable Tart

Poor Ralph suffered so much from the heat wave. Here I am, trying to cool him down.

Ralph and me

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  1. 1 - Zeynep Seda on July 2nd, 2007

    I think all the countries in Europe and around Mediterranean suffered from that unbelievable heat wave; we were on a holiday in Tunisia and it was 53 C!! Is that a kumquat sitting by the lemonade?? I love the taste and the smell of kumquat poached in it’s juice, cloves and cointreau… And by the way, Ralph has real Dumbo ears :))

  2. 2 - Shaun on July 2nd, 2007

    Cenk – For once I would not have mind even the slightest heatwave because it is so cold down here at the moment. Luckily, I will be in the US as of next week until mid-September with my boyfriend, which will be a lovely escape. The tarts look gorgeous. You seem so proficient in the language of pastry – after one year of countless attempts, I can only now say that I make a pretty good shortcrust pastry (both sweet and normal), which is the easiest of all pastries. As for the t-bone, I’ll have mine rare, please 🙂 Ralph is the cutest dog in the blogosphere.

  3. 3 - Anne on July 2nd, 2007

    Your blog and photography are beautiful. I adore tarts and the ones here look divine:)

  4. 4 - Yvonne on July 2nd, 2007

    The tarts look amazing, they remind me that I need to make friends here with A/C.

    Does Ralph take walks on Cumhurriyet Caddesi sometimes? I swear I know him. [I know that Golden Retrievers are very fashionable now here, so there might be a million Ralph clones out there.]

  5. 5 - bea at La tartine gourmande on July 3rd, 2007

    This looks like a very nice time that you had. 100 F wow, way too hot. We had this last week too. terrible, for two days! I remember the heat in Istanbul when I was there ages ago, in August. Next time I visit, I will definitely come when it is cooler!

  6. 6 - Tartelette on July 3rd, 2007

    Heat wave too and a lot if grilling also. You do throw fantastic parties!

  7. 7 - Ilgın on July 3rd, 2007

    Ralph, mansion, food and of course the gorgeous cook on top of all are perfectly harmonic elements of a wonderland.
    I sometimes can’t help wondering if there’s an Alice, especially after trying your Nutella Tart (and experiencing a sweet little chocolate coma threat.
    Got over the crisis with pineapples, I believe they might fit well inside the tart too).

  8. 8 - Deborah on July 3rd, 2007

    Your photos take my breath away.

  9. 9 - Tina on July 3rd, 2007

    Cenk – I agree with Shaun. You are a great baker. The one with black olives looks so yummy. Seems like you spent a great weekend!

  10. 10 - Cenk on July 3rd, 2007

    Zeynep Seda – Yep, that’s a kumquat. We are very lucky to have two kumquat trees at The Mansion! I like them in my diet coke.

    Shaun – Thank you. I don’t mind the heat but humidity is killing us. I missed the weather in SF a lot. Hope you have a nice holiday with your bf.

    Anne – Thank you very much.

    Yvonne – As far as I know,Ralph has never been to Cumhuriyet Caddesi… He resides in Kuruçeşme and takes his walks around the neighborhood.

    Bea – So nice of you to stop by… August is the hottest month in İstanbul. September is ideal. Do let me know if you plan to visit İstanbul.

    Tartelette, Ilgın, Deborah, Tina – Thank you very much for your nice comments.

  11. 11 - keiko on July 5th, 2007

    Hi Cenk – I hope you are doing OK in the heat, as you may know we haven’t had summery days this year, it’s been raining everyday. The tomato & olive tart looks absolutely lovely, take care and send hugs to Ralph too! kxx

  12. 12 - Cenk on July 5th, 2007

    Hi Keiko – The weather cooled down a bit and it made all the difference. Unfortunately, we are expecting another heat wave this weekend… Glad you liked the tart. And thank you for taking the time to drop by and say hello, I know you are very busy nowadays. I’ll definitely hug Ralph for you!

  13. 13 - Susan on July 7th, 2007

    Wow what a great blog, the images and layouts are wonderful. You are even inspiring me to cook which is a major acomplishment. I miss the Maison and the handsome ‘area rug’ aka Ralph as well as the royal family.

    Keep on Blogging !!

  14. 14 - Cenk on July 8th, 2007

    Hi Susan! Thanks for visiting. The Mansion missed you too!

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