Espàrrecs


Original:

Espàrrecs si vols fer, com seran prrbullits o sosenguats iuit lii vin blanch e especies coiiiunes e un poch de bon sucre blanch;

encara si n as molts espàrrecs que n vullcs fer [czxviij-a] menjar per donar en ~scudclles, perbullits axi com demuiit es dit e prem los espàrrecs e soseiiga los axi com a espiiiachs ; apres agcs let d ametlles e niit los a coure, e cogua tant tro sien ben espesos e cuyts, e pugs fe n esciidellc,s e ínit polvora de canyella, e es meiijar a s i be de carnal com de quaresma.

[El Llibre de Sent Sovi, LI, c.1325]

Translation:

If you want to make Asparagus, when they are boiled and fried put in white wine and common spices, and a little good white sugar.

Still, if you have a lot of asparagus, that you want to make as a dish to serve in bowls, boil them as is said above and press the asparagus and fry them just like spinach.  Then take almond milk, and cook them in it, and cook them enough so that they are thickened and well cooked.  Then serve them in bowls, and dust cinnamon on it.  It is eaten like this on meat days as well as during Lent.

[El Llibre de Sent Sovi/The Book of Sent Sovi, LI, trans: Robin Vogelzang, (c1325) 2008]

Ingredients:

In White Wine:
Asparagus
White Wine
White Sugar
Common Spices (Especias de Salsa Comun from Libre Del Coch)

In Almond Milk:
Asparagus
Almond Milk
Cinnamon

Especias de Salsa Comun:
Cinnamon
Cloves
Ginger
Pepper
Culantro Coriander
Saffron

Redaction:

In White Wine:
Boil Asparagus until tender.  Remove from water and press dry in a towel.  Heat White Wine in a skillet and add Common Spices and a little White Sugar.  Add Asparagus and fry until done.  Serve Asparagus with the spiced Wine that it was cooked in.

In Almond Milk:
Boil Asparagus until tender.  Remove from water and press dry in a towel.  Cut Asparagus into inch long pieces.  Heat Almond Milk in a skillet and add Asparagus.  Cook until Almond Milk thickens.  Serve in bowls and dust Cinnamon on the top. 

Notes: 

press the asparagus: in order to drain them, to remove the leftover water.”

just like spinach: this reference to a spinach recipe that describes the way they should be fried does not correspond with any of the prior recipes, nor have I been able to identify it among the other dishes of sentsovinian tradition; number 84 of the rubrics of the Valencian codex only records <<Spinach for fast days>> (Espinacs a dia de dejuni).”

[El Llibre de Sent Sovi/The Book of Sent Sovi, LI, c1325, Trans: Robin Vogelzang, 2008]

This recipe shows Asparagus two ways.  One presentation is in wine and the other is in Almond Milk. The recipe for the Asparagus in White Wine did not specify the Common Spices.  I found Especias de Salsa Comun (Spices for Common Sauce) in Libre del Coch by Ruperto de Nola. This spice mixture worked very well with the Wine.  For the second presentation, the Almond Milk took a while to thicken.  I would wait until it starts to thicken before adding the Asparagus back in to preserve the Asparagus’ texture. 

Bibliography:

“Esparrecs.” In El Llibre de Sent Sovi / The Book of Sent Sovi: Medieval Recipes from Catalonia, edited by Joan Santanach, translated by Robin Vogelzang, 144-5.  Barcelona: Barcino-Tamesis, (c.1325) 2008.

de Nola, Ruperto, Libre del Coch, I, c1529, Trans: Brighid ni Chiarain, 2009 

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