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”
I’ve just spent a week in England, moving our furniture into storage, as the sale of our house completed on Friday. The weather in the UK was absolutely glorious – miles better than here, where I was welcomed back by one of the very chilly winds that are a speciality of this area – one that had come down straight over the Russian Steppes, then the freezing cold Black Sea, with a quick pass over the snowy mountains that form the entire Turkish interior between here and the north coast. By the time it reaches us, it would freeze the Sahara. Continue reading “Apricot frangipane tart”
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”