This post is a continuation of the celebration of the lactarius deliciosus…the saffron milk cap mushroom…the çintar. This time, we’re going to be doing a traditional Turkish börek recipe and teaming this tasty mushroom up with spinach. Spinach and mushroom is always a dream combination.
Since we’ve been writing this blog, 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. Or, even better, you can make Italy’s famous rice balls, arancini.
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 mushrooms are more expensive than they were last season (there are nowhere near as many) but they’re still always worth a purchase as a treat.
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 do a börek 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.
Spinach & Mushroom Börek Recipe
We’re using the seasonal pine mushrooms for this but you can use any mushrooms you like.
- 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.
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)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius 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.