On a recent trip to Istanbul, my husband and I were fortunate to eat at the popular all-day breakfast restaurant called Van Kahvaltı Evi. Van is a city in eastern Turkey, and this place serves breakfast that is typical of the area. We ordered the “breakfast special,” which meant that there were so many different dishes on the table, there simply was no room for everything! There were olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, honey, kaymak (like clotted cream), sweet tahini spread, honey-walnut spread, muhammara, a variety of cheeses, fruit preserves, cajik (strained yogurt) and more! It was overkill, but we just had to have eggs with sujuk (Turkish/Armenian sausage) as well. Being an Armenian American whose family originally comes from this region, this was truly a home-style breakfast.
I just couldn’t get enough of one of the dishes, the walnut-honey spread. When eaten with kaymak, it was a match made in heaven. It was a breakfast dish I had to replicate at home. This duo, walnut-honey with kaymak, is easy to put together and perfectly fancy for when guests come over. Kaymak can be found at Middle-Eastern markets. If you can’t find it, you can use clotted cream. Even better, you can make kaymak at home. It’s relatively easy, but time-consuming. I spread both the walnut-honey and kaymak side-by-side on one serving plate. It’s lovely on crusty bread with a dollop of kaymak and then another layer of walnut-honey…..yum!
Here is what you’ll need for the walnut-honey spread:
- 1 cup walnuts (unsalted)
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. butter
Using a food processor, or coffee grinder, grind the walnuts until they are finely ground, but not pasty. In a bowl, mix together the honey and butter. Add the ground walnuts, and mix well. Spread on a plate and serve with bread.