The Turkish word for asparagus is kuşkonmaz, which literally translates as ‘the bird cannot land’. Most people think this is because a bird couldn’t perch on the wavy fern fronds, but the awful truth is that birds here in Turkey have never been able to afford the rent.
When we first came to Turkey, we lived near the fish market in Galata – one of Istanbul’s oldest quarters. As well as amazing fish, the market also had the best vegetable stand in the city – they sold celery, fennel, fresh coriander and ginger years before they became available more widely. All of those things are still difficult to get, but we are lucky enough to have an enterprising greengrocer in this town, so we have fairly reliable supplies. Continue reading “Asparagus tart”
No posts for 18 days, now two come along at once.
To be truthful, posting on the blog allows me to sit in air-conditioned bliss at the kitchen counter, feeling as though I am doing something slightly useful (while attempting to ignore the fact that there is a pile of ironing in the spare bedroom so big that it’s starting to block out the daylight).
Today is a half-day holiday before Eid Al-Fitr, the feast that follows the month of fasting during Ramadan, or Ramazan as it is called here. Known in Turkey as Şeker Bayramı, literally ‘sugar festival’, the local children will be out early tomorrow morning, knocking on their neighbours’ doors, looking for sweets and pennies. Watch out for tomorrow’s easy chocolate muffin recipe, which I’ll be cooking up for any children passing this way. Continue reading “Leek & onion tarts”
When I have a weird collection of vegetables in the fridge that need using up, my thoughts immediately switch to one of three things: soup, curry, tart. I bought a big bunch of spinach at the weekend, not really knowing what I was going to do with it, and there it was, still glaring at me when I opened the fridge to get the milk this morning.
There were also a couple of tired leeks and half of a wedge of goat’s cheese, which I must confess is long past its sell-by date (things like goat’s cheese shouldn’t have a sell-by date in my opinion – it just gets tastier. If it really has gone over, it will be sporting some kind of colourful mould that will give you a tip-off that it’s going to try to kill you if you eat it). Continue reading “Spinach, goat’s cheese and walnut tart”