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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


the Kingdom of Aragon. It began in 1035 when Sancho III, the Great of Navarre, gave his third son Ramiro the small Pyrenean country. It grew to its height in the 14-15C to include Huesca, Zaragoza, Catolonia, Valencia, the Baleric Islands, Sicly, Napoles and Sardinia. Barcelona and Valencia, the two biggest shipping ports of the Middle Ages became famous for their cuisine. Sent Soví and Rupert Nola’s cookbooks are the two most complete medieval manuscripts on cooking in the Christian regions of the Iberian Peninsula, which have survived.  Aragon was an independent kingdom with its capital in Zaragoza until Juana the Loca inherited it from Ferdinand the Catholic, her father and Castile from Isabel the Catholic, her mother.  When cheese is an ingredient in Nola’s recipes, he usually calls for cheese from Aragon. [Nola. 1989:xviii-5:xxiii-2:xxiii-3 etc]

for 4 persons

Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole
Photo by: geekspeakllc
4 c mutton broth
2 or 1 lb eggplants
2 onions
1 c grated mozzarella cheese or cheese from Aragon
2 egg yolks
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp mace
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp green coriander
1 tbsp parsley

2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon


Make a rich mutton broth. Skin the eggplants and cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Peel the onions and chop them into 3 or 4 pieces. Put them in a saucepan with the broth. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to gently boil eggplants and onions 10 minutes. 


Remove the eggplant and onions from the broth and mince them. Mix them with the cheese and beaten egg yolks. Add the spices and herbs, mix well and place the mixture in a greased 1 ½ qt casserole with a lid.  Bake covered 30 minutes.

Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the top and serve.


  1. A very interesting recipe I should have never imagined before. I am only in doubt about the sugar. Perhaps it is good as a dip or spread over toasted bread? I must try. Curiously, it is not Aragon where more recipes of eggplant are in use today, but Andalucia. By the way, Juana la Loca inherited firts Castilla (her mother Isabella died first) and then Aragon, but there was a time when this was rather dubious, as Ferdinand remarried Germana de Foix in order to get Navarre (the only kingdom that remained apart, and people feared he could have a son and so end with the so-long searched union. Luckily it was not so, and unluckily Juana went mad (but that is another story). The fact is that all the fishes in the Mediterranean were said to wear the coat of arms of Aragon, which colours inspired in the XVIIIth century the Spanish flag. And only in the beggining of that century, with the Borbons, did they lost their own laws or fueros.

  2. First of all sugar was a novelty avaiable only in Mediterranean countries in the early Middle Ages. It was a luxury so a spoonful was included in many aristocratic dishes to show off.
    Ferdinand and nobles in Iberia became fed up with Juana la Loca's husband, Philio I of Hapsburg.
    History says the Medici's were the aces of poisons while other historians believe Ferdinand dominated international relations with his poisons.
    Philio I died in Spain "for drinking too much water water after a football match.
    Meantime Ferdinand remarried to not only gain Navarra but to provide an heir for Narvarre and Aragon.
    Germana tried to concoct a Viagra to fulfill this wish but killed Ferdy off instead.
    Whether Juana went mad or not is debatable. She lived in Tordesillas, a palace built by her granduncle who had exquisite taste. Who would want to leave that to become a saddle queen?
    In all due respect she suffered migraine headaches as did her maternal grandmother.
    Unfortunately, medical ignorance has misconstrued history.

  3. Did Germana try the Pompadour's celery soup with Ferdy? Did she mistake the pot of viagra with one of her husband's pots? In any case, this family is a clear example of how disgraces and plots can in the end turn out well.

  4. Germana could not have offered Ferdy Pompadour's celery soup as she lived in the 18th century but she could have had her cooks prepare Nola's recipe in the beginning of the 16th century, although Ferdy died before the official publication of Nola's work. The bummer is that celery increases urination not the sex driveª