Sunday, February 23, 2014

Menu for March 2, with recipes

This week we will try the following dishes:

Moretum:  A Pesto-like cheese dip for crackers or vegetables
Salad with Oenogarum dressing
A Roman Mushroom Dish
Barley and Vegetable soup
Roast Fowl with Dipping Sauce
Melon with Mint Dressing
Sesamides:  Sesame and Honey Cookies


Moretum:(thanks to the The Silk Road Gourmet for this recipe)

4 medium cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 pound Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 tsp fennel seeds, ground in mortar
small bunch of cilantro, washed, dried, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup parsley, washed, dried, stems removed
1/4 cup celery leaves or mix of chopped celery and celery leaves
approx. 4-6 Tablespoons olive oil

Grind garlic and salt in mortar and pestle or food processor, then add the grated cheese and blend thoroughly.  Add olive oil as needed, process to a smooth paste.  If you are storing it in the refrigerator, place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the moretum to prevent any discoloring or drying out.

Roman Mushrooms (thanks to the The Silk Road Gourmet for this recipe)
1 pound Portobello Mushroom caps
1.5 cups good Shiraz (or Syrah)
1/3 cup garum or liquamen
4-5 long pepper catkins, crushed or ground
Clean thoroughly and slice the mushrooms into bite-sized morsels and set aside. Mix wine and garum and mix well but gently.

In a large sauté pan, warm the oenogarum and long pepper over medium-low flame until it is hot. Do not let it come to a boil. When hot, add the mushrooms. Cook uncovered until mushrooms have given off their own water and have become tender. Remove from flame and drain the mushrooms. If desired, catch the liquid from the pan and use it to flavor another dish for the same meal. Works very nicely with grain dishes such as barley. Enjoy!

Ancient Roman Barley Soup with Legumes and Greens

1/2 cup pearled barley
1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup tan lentils (supermarket type)
10 cups water
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons salt, plus to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed
2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce**
1 large or 2 smaller leeks, white part and 3 inches of green part, split, rinsed carefully and chopped
3 cups coarsely chopped Savoy cabbage, packed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, packed
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, packed
1/4 cup chopped fennel leaves, packed
1/2 cup olive oil

Place barley, peas and lentils in a heavy pot. Rinse and drain. Add water and bring to a boil. Skim off foam. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are becoming tender. Add a little water if too thick.

Add chickpeas, salt, oregano, ground spices and fish sauce. Simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks, cabbage and greens. In a frying pan, cook them gently in olive oil until bright colored and wilted. Stir mixture into soup. Simmer, stirring frequently, just until cabbage is tender, 5-10 minutes.
** Omit if vegetarian, but be sure to add salt to taste
Taste, and add salt as needed to make slightly salty, since the vegetables will absorb more salt.

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