[Sca-cooks] Last Minute Genovese Feast

Aruvqan aruvqan at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 01:59:44 PDT 2012

On 10/29/2012 12:38 AM, Karen Lyons-McGann wrote:
> Genoa, December 1099
> I've begun with Apicius and Martino and the Neoolitan cookbook because
> that's what I have.  So that's one earlier than and two later than sources.
>   Not great.
> I've gotten some modern books that tell me that Genoa/Liguria traditionally
> uses more herbs than spices because the sailors and merchants, after asking
> with the strong smelling spices don't care to eat them. that they used
> chickpea and chestnut flours because the narrow bit of land between coast
> and mountains was no good for growing grain. Ditto few grazing animals, a
> preference for rabbits and chickens and not much cheese made locally.
>   I've noted the requisite plausibly period modern recipes that back
> documentation would be oh so pleasant to find. (chickpea crepes?  Walnut
> and ricotta pesto? Easy to make stamped pasta disks?  Fennel, raisin  and
> candied citron bread?).  I've confirmed what I thought I knew: basil pesto
> is 19thC.  Although herby blend of wild herbs and greens has been around.
> (and is currently used to stuff ravioli which is topped with mushroom
> sauce). Also: egg frittata with green herbs.
Hm, can't find my copy of apicius right now, I think Phlip has a copy 
but she is asleep.

How about the salad of mixed herbs? 107 Field herbs

Field and forest herbs are prepared either raw with stock oil and 
vinegar as a salad, or as a cooked dish by adding pepper, cumin and 
mastich berries.

And a different one, 109 and 110 -

        109 Endives and Lettuce
        Intuba et lactucae

Endives are dressed with brine, a little oil and chopped onion, instead 
of the real lettuce. In winter time the endives are taken out of the 
pickle and are dressed with honey or vinegar.

          110 Lettuce Salad, Field Salad
        Agrestes lactucae

Dress it with vinegar dressing and a little brine stock; which helps 
digestion and is taken to counteract inflation.

Most of what we now look upon as salad herbs are hedgerow weeds that we 
cultivated into submission. I think you could sort of manage to wing it 
with a loose leaf lettuce instead of a head lettuce, and belgian endive 
for #109 and 110.

And being coastal, you can make my favorite, isicia ex spondylis - 
scallop croquetttes.
# 46

        46 A Dish of Scallops
        Isicia ex spondylis

Lightly cook scallops or the firm part of oysters. Remove the hard and 
objectionable parts, mince the meat very fine, mix this with cooked 
spelt and eggs, season with pepper, shape into croquettes and wrap in 
caul, fry, underlay a rich fish sauce and serve as a delicious entrée.

I normally don't worry about the caul, but you could cheat slightly and 
stuff the mixture into small sausage casings, and add some finely minced 
leaf lard to add the mouthfeel that cooking in a shroud of fat would give.

Then there is that pounded cheese thing from um, Cato? I believe it is 
in the florithingy, we had a discussion about it back around '04 or '05 
if I remember correctly. Moretum.
I can't find it in the florithingy, the search seems to be either down 
or lagged beyond belief. The second article has a lovely redaction and 
the original text. As I thought, it was in '05.

musings of an insomniac - Cracked Pots and Psycho Investigators at http://aruvqan.wordpress.com/

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