Entradas populares

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Photo By: Hey! Sam !!

Cat arienzo, Eng weight of 123 centigrams used in northern Aragon. [Nola. 1985:xlix-6; Nola/Iranzo.1982:167; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:189]

For 12 persons


1 lb rocket
1 qt red wine vinegar
3 qts honey
**8 l or 3 maravedis red wine
0.8 oz, 246 cg or 2 arienzos saffron

(225,000 hand-picked stigmas from the saffron crocus make 1 lb)
Photo from Vibrant Spirit

Purée young, tender rocket in a food processor. Add a little water if needed.  Place it in a air tight container with vinegar and let it soak for 6-8 days. Melt the honey in a saucepan by bringing it to a boil; and remove it from the heat. Add red wine. Put the rocket in a large saucepan. Pour the honey mixture over it, straining it through a sieve.  Heat the entire mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove from the heat. Add well ground saffron dissolved in red wine.

*Rocket is also called arugula.
**A compilation of Spanish and Mexican law, in relation to mines..., Volume 1, p 20 states that 3 maravedis are 2 half gallons. December 30, 2011.  


  1. Do you know if rocket was common in Spain or rather Nola takes it from Italy?
    Nowadays, and only very recently (some 10 years more or less) you can find rocket in very good stores and supermarkets, but it is not very popular: I remember at Rome, an Andalusian woman asking me what kind of bitter stuff they had put into her salad (and he had kept a leaf in her portfolio to show it to some botanist at her return, I imagine...)

  2. Soain already knew about rocket as the Romans used it to flavor sauces and dressing. Sent Sovi in the 13th C calls for rocket in some recipes. When rocket went out of style in Spain is unknown to me but the Spanish Civil War in the 20th C does seem to have raped the cuisine of its ingredients as did other wars in previous centuries I guess. When I arrived in Spain, lettuce was the only green used in salads, not even watercress. During the Middle Ages, salads included any kind of edible greens found in the garden or growing wild.

    Rocket was not introduced to Britain until the 1980s and then as a gourmet food. Obama was criticized as a “cultural elitist” for mentioning it in a speech to Iowa farmers. The truth is that rocket has been picked as a weed in rural areas for centuries.

    We will get to rocket when we get to the letter "o" as it is "oruga" in Spanish.

  3. In fact, salads in Spain consisted till some years ago only of lettuce and, in the mixed salad, tomato, onions and eventually other aditions like boiled eggs, tuna or olives. Cervantes praises the Italian salads, what can induce us to think that even then the variety of greens was bigger than in Spain. Nowadays many of the "new" varieties of lettuce and other greens come in fact from Italy and are sold under the Italian name (the same rucula, that has its Spanish older version, is the proof). Even so, they continue to be quite a delicacy and people and ordinary restaurants buy as maximum ready mixed green salads in plastic bags.
    I know in Italy people still have a tradition of going out into the fields in search of herbs as dandelion or nettles (they use them to make a soup). In Spain people go as far as searching wild asparagi, for what I know (being quite urbanite I can be mistaken).
    I don't know if the Civil War is to blame for the disaparition of many traditional ingredients. Certainly old people speak of "before the war" as they do in the rest of Europe, by the way. I think it is rather the process of urban and economic developement, with millions of people migrating to town, and all the change of living and eating it involved. Now gourmets go and rediscover what for our grandparents was a matter of fact.