Turkish Recipes – Çintar Mushroom & Spinach Börek

This post is a continuation of the celebration of the lactarius deliciosus…the saffron milk cap mushroom…the çintar. We’re no experts in the weird world of mushroom identification but we’re now suitably convinced that the meaty, tasty çintar mushroom is indeed the Latin phrase above.

Lactarius Deliciosus - Edible mushrooms

An assortment of lactarius deliciosus edible mushrooms

Since we’ve been writing Turkey’s For Life, we’ve become much more aware of Turkish seasonal food and so we’ve realised that this year, the autumn and winter Fethiye weather hasn’t been ideal for mushroom growth. The çintar mushroom appeared at the beginning of December (as it should) and you might remember we mixed them with spinach to produce this gorgeous mushroom risotto. We actually made it again the other night for tea and guess what? If you make too much – like we did – it’s really nice eaten cold the day after.

Anyway, after the initial batch of çintar mushrooms appeared, the weather returned to unseasonal warmer temperatures and and the rain stayed away…the çintar consequently disappeared from Fethiye market. We thought that was it for the year, until we took our friends back to Dalaman Airport on a dull, rainy January 2nd. As we passed through the pine forests, we noticed cars parked along the roadside in random positions and people foraging around the pine trees. Then, further along the way, people were dangling bags, packed with çintar mushrooms, at the passing vehicles. They’re growing again!

A visit to Fethiye market on Tuesday confirmed the fact. Perhaps understandably, the çintar mushroom is more expensive than it was last season (there are nowhere near as many) but 8 lira per kilo is okay for us for a treat. Click on either of the links above and you’ll see the price difference.

We’d only made the spinach and mushroom risotto this winter.We wanted one more little celebration of this meaty morsel so I decided to produce a kind of Turkish recipe using another of our favourite ingredients; yufka. I made a spinach and çintar mushroom börek. It’s a winner, so here’s the recipe.

Çintar mushrooms and spinach

Çintar mushrooms and spinach – best friends

  • Finely chop one onion and a handful of chillies and fry them lightly.
  • Chop around 200 grams of çintar mushrooms into small chunks and once your onions are sweating, add the mushrooms to the pan. (You can use any type of ‘meaty’ mushroom.)
  • At this point, I added some red chilli powder to the mixture, partly for colour and partly for a different type of extra heat. Çintar mushrooms can stand extra heat and spinach and we think chillies are a perfect combination.
  • Once everything is fried to your liking, add about 250 grams of chopped spinach and stir it in until it has wilted.
  • Allow the mixture to cool and add some strong, crumbled cheese. We used tulum – the hard cheese often served with walnuts and lavaş bread. Parmesan would be a good alternative.
Turkish Recipe - Çintar Mushrooms in Yufka

No need to be very careful wrapping the ingredients in the yufka

Time to add the mixture to the yufka. No fancy shapes this time, unlike the (self-proclaimed) masterpiece that was the cheese and spinach börek.

I used three sheets of yufka and cut each one in half.

  • Lay a half slice of yufka – curved edge away from you – on a flat surface and brush with a mixture of raw egg and olive oil. (Photo 1 above)
  • Use a wooden spoon and take 2 spoonfuls of mixture from the frying pan and arrange it along the flat edge of the yufka, leaving a couple of inches space at the bottom and at each edge. (Photo 2 above)
  • Fold the bottom, flat edge over the mixture and then fold the sides over. (Photo 3 above)
  • Roll the yufka to make a long, sausage-roll shape. Think tortilla wrap. Your mixture will fill the 6 halves of yufka.
  • Brush the wraps with your egg mixture and place on a baking tray. (Photo 4 above)
Cheese & Mushroom Börek

You’ll be nibbling at this spinach and mushroom börek till it’s all gone

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and bake the spinach, cheese and mushroom börek for about 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Once it’s golden, let it cool a little and eat it all up. Perfect party food because it’s just as good once it’s gone cold, too.

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  1. Looks so amazing – especially that lovely flaky gorgeousness.

  2. Mushrooms and spinach are my two favourite vegetables – amazing!

  3. @ Belinda: We all love a bit of flaky gorgeousness every now and then! 🙂

    @ Ayngelina: I used to hate both spinach and mushrooms but love them now; especially spinach.

  4. Wow–this all looks so delicious! I just might have to try your recipe 🙂

  5. I love mushrooms but not that a big fan of spinach! 🙂

  6. @ struxtravel: It is delicious. That might be it now though for another season. 🙁

    @ Jeremy: It’s an acquired taste I think! Loads of meals in Turkey have spinach so we’ve had to get used to it. 🙂

  7. These mushrooms would definitely inspire me! Love the quick wrapping with the yufka leaves. Must be delicious and light tasting, perfect with a glass of white wine I would think.

  8. Most things are delicious with a glass of white wine. 🙂 They are really light actually. Love cooking with çintar mushrooms just becuase they are so seasonal.

  9. eatlaughloveanon says

    That look AMAZING! I’m so impressed.
    In fact, the only way I could be more impressed with that dish is if you revealed you made in a tv cooking show style, explaining each step to your cat in a breezy manner, with a few winks and in-jokes thrown in.

  10. If I read one more of your delicious recipies I’m in serious danger of shedding my ‘no cooking, no house work, no ironing, no gardening’diva image and take to the pots and pans. Just don’t give my secret away if I do.

  11. @ eatlaughloveanon: Ha ha, thanks. Can’t see us behind a tv camera somehow. Much prefer hiding behind photos and writing. 🙂

    @ inka: Oh dear! You must let us know if you tkae to wearing an apron and getting out the baking utensils! Don’t worry, we won’t tell. You have an image to protect. 🙂

  12. eatlaughloveanon says

    Someone sent me a link to a youtube clip once of an old English guy doing a homemade cooking segment in his caravan.
    He had such a professional patter as he slurped on a glass of wine and demonstrated how to heat up a microwave meal. It was incredibly funny.

  13. Now that’s what I’m talking about. This looks delish!! I have no idea if these types of mushrooms are available in the States, but I am definitely interested in making at least a version of this. Can’t wait to try it, thanks for sharing!

  14. @ eatlovelaughanon: Was it not Keith Floyd? 🙂 We can do the cooking with the glass of wine, no problem. It’s the camera bit that scares us! 🙂

    @ Adam: Well, let us know how you get on! Not good diet food. 🙂

  15. If there’s ever an opening for official taste-tester I’d like to submit my resume please. Skills include eating a lot and bacon expertise 🙂

  16. @ Anil: Hmmm, would have to take a closer look at your resume. We suspect you may be using a clever, behind-the-scenes assistant who has a specialist knowledge of bacon! 🙂

  17. So delicious looking! I especially like the “strong, crumbled cheese” part of the recipe. Those mushroom photos are like works of art.

  18. I bet Scott would love this dish. I’m not a big mushroom fan, but maybe I will make it for him. 😉

  19. @ Cathy: I actually took those mushroom photos in a bar, waiting for Barry to finish using the internet. I was bored, so got the shopping out and photographed it! 🙂

    @ Christy: I’m not a big mushroom person either but these are really good because they don’t taste like mushrooms.

  20. Looks lovely! I always think mushrooms are a strange food but they do taste goood!

  21. Thanks Jozef. Yes, they are a strange thing aren’t they? Some of them, I just refuse to eat – even the edible ones! 🙂

  22. I’ll eat mushrooms any time, anywhere,…especially those ones that give you weird dreams.

  23. And which mushrooms would those be Jim? 🙂
    I’m not brave with mushrooms really. There’s another type here that just look awful and I can’t bring myself to try them.

  24. Those mushrooms look divine. I’d be tempted to sauté in a little butter and garlic and enjoy with a glass of vine.

    I’m not a huge fan of filo pastry but I’d certainly tuck into these!

  25. I’ve read a few food posts today but this one makes my mouth water. What could be better than spinach, mushrooms and pastry. Yum!

  26. @ Corinne: Mushrooms with garlic – perfect every time, especially if you;re drinking a glass of wine too! 🙂

    @ Amy: They were very nice, if I do say so myself! 🙂

  27. Delcious. Will have to try this one

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