I spent most of Monday staring at the ground looking for kuzugobeği,( morel mushrooms) and tilkişen, (wild asparagus). I couldn't find either, I'm out of practice, it's been 12 years since I last went in search of them. It's a bit early for the morel mushrooms, which is why they are selling for 200 TL a kilo, but the time is ripe for wild asparagus. I was probably a bit too late in the day, the village ladies had got there before me. The forestry commission has made such a muddy mess of our village road that everyone is now using our garden as the thoroughfare and I'm sure the new shooting asparagus is too tempting to ignore. I had to buy my tilkişen from the market today for 5TL a bunch. As it takes hours to find, I think this was £1.80 well spent. I used half tonight in a mushroom and asparagus tart and the rest will go into scrambled eggs for tomorrow's lunch.
200g plain flour
25 stalks wild asparagus, break into 10cm lengths
2 tblsp green olive past (optional)
splash of olive oil
2 cloves garlic
100g white cheese
Dill, parsley or whatever fresh herbs you have, chopped.
salt and pepper
Set oven to 200 degrees C. Rub the butter into the flour and salt and add enough water to make a soft dough. Chill for one hour
Slice the onions and mushrooms and sauté in a splash of oil, when softened, add chopped garlic and asparagus and sauté for another 2 minutes, then season and set aside to cool. Roll out the pastry to a rough oblong and place on a flat baking tray. This makes enough to cover one oven tray. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes until is is just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and cover the pastry with the olive paste, then the mushroom mix, leaving any residual liquid behind. Crumble the white cheese on top and scatter the herbs, then back in the oven for another 10 minutes to melt the cheese. I served it with a carrot, beetroot and rocket salad.