Yeah! The cherry price is going down! Guess how much the cherries are here per kilo? I’ll give you a hint…. It’s $29.99 for California cherries in Australia and down to $9.99 in season near Christmas. So here in Turkey? $3 per kilo!! And the price will go down further later. If you’re a cherry devourer like me, it’s good enough a reason to live in Turkey. Actually, I teased my friend the other day by sending a photo of cherries spilling out of the bowl and she was so tempted and traumatised since she loves all kinds of fruit.
The cherries won’t be as plentiful as last year because of a few storms that have passed here. I saw the poor cherries fallen off the trees rotting on the ground when I was in the village haven last week. Anyway, I’m enjoying them as much as I can while they last. The apricots will come out followed by sour cherries, etc. When there are fresh veggies and fruit around, why would one bother to cook up or even bother to keep canned veggies in the pantry? Since I moved to Turkey, I haven’t bought any canned or jarred foods. SImply, there isn’t a need for them.
Having said that, there are times when I walk past shelves with exotic veggies and get really tempted. I’m usually good at biting my lips and walking away, but when I was at Metro, where people in the restaurant business buy their stocks in bulk and foreign ingredients can be found, I saw white asparagus, a reminder of spring, but in jars, and got excited, but I wasn’t going to buy it since I stick to my ethics of cooking with natural produce only. But I had a great excuse, Mr.O, who had never eaten asparagus before, so I justified the buying and cooked various dishes with it. 🙂 So please forgive me; just once and last.
The taste, of course, can’t compare with the fresh ones, but still, it was good to be reminded of the taste, though Mr.O didn’t stop complaining about the odor in his p**.
This white asparagus is fibrous compared to the green varietal and I once made a great Asparagus Noodle Salad, taking advantage of the fibre. It doesn’t have noodles but simply I stripped the asparagus into noodles. Do you do that, too, sometimes? Disguising veggies as noodles? For example, I would cut zucchini or carrots into strips to sneak into spaghetti. I used to do it often when I was on a so-called healthy, low-carb diet; not any more! I eat everything now. You might think I’m going backwards, but I feel more like that I’m finally going in the right direction, thanks to my love for wine.
Anyway, while I was poking my nose in the fridge, trying to whip up a quick lunch, I found leftover rice noodles from the night before, mushrooms, spring onion and purple basil (reyhan). If there hadn’t been rice noodles, I might have just used the asparagus to cook, let’s say, omelette. But the sight of noodles fired up my improvisational skills and voila, this is the result, which I devoured with great pleasure, giving myself a big praise. Its flavour is utterly European, no soy sauce included. I just tossed all ingredients in a wok and drizzled some olive oil at the end. The purple basil, which is seen more common here than any other countries I’ve lived in, gives the dish an intensely sweet aroma, but you need to use it in moderation as its flavour is stronger than green basil.
Good food is all about the balance between the herbs, spices and the main ingredients. I could taste every single ingredient in it, whose flavour was enhanced by the basil. I snip and toss this basil into salads quite often as I love the fragrance of basil. Also, this thin rice noodles don’t require boiling prior to cooking so it’s quite convenient. But having the noodles that have been soaked in the fridge makes it even more convenient when you just want to eat something quickly. Are you intrigued by this dish? Have you every tried a similar dish? Please share your ideas with me.
p.s. Would you like a recipe? I’m not good at writing up recipes. 😦 My cookbook is my intuition. But here you go.
This dish is all about long strips so you need to make sure everything looks in harmony in shape.
Rice Noodles with Asparagus and Mushrooms
Ingredients (serves 2)
a handful of asparagus, steamed and stripped
button mushroom, as many as you like, about 5-6
2 spring onions, cut lengthy way
fresh green or purple (if neither, parsley will do)
olive oil, as much as you like, about 1 Tbsp
rice noodles, as much as you want, soaked in lukewarm water
or leftover noodles of any kind
salt and pepper for seasoning
1. Put the mushrooms in a wok or a deep pan with a little olive oil and stir-fry till they’re cooked. (you can add a little garlic if you want, but I didn’t)
2. Put the remaining veggies in and stir-fry and add the noodles.
3. Turn off the heat and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss in the chopped basil.
Bon Appetit et Afiyet Olsun
More recipes for Asparagus: