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Friday, March 2, 2012

BERENGENEROS WITH 13TH C EGGPLANTS WITH SAFFRON RECIPE

Eggplant dinner
Toledan eggplant lovers who use the pulp of the fruit in various dishes. Toledo has been noted for the large quantities of eggplants cultivated there. [Cervantes/Astrana.1947:660:ftn 16]

A DISH OF EGGPLANTS WITH SAFFRON[1] ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF
ANÓN/AL-ANDALUS #74. PLATO DE BERENJENAS CON AZAFRÁN, p 53
For 4 persons


Ingredients

2 medium eggplants
salt
2 tbsp vinegar
egg_souffle-step3-kmf
½ tbsp murri[2]
¼  tsp ground coriander
½  tsp pepper
¼ tsp caraway
1 tsp cumin
¾ tsp saffron mashed
1 medium onion chopped
2 fennel stalks chopped
1 garlic clove mashed
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
6 eggs
1 c breadcrumbs[3]
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp fresh cilantro 
¼ c flour
virgin olive oil for frying

Garnish:
Rue shoots
Mint
Citron leaves

Preparation

Peel the eggplants. Split them in half and salt them, and let sit on paper towels for moisture to come out for about 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes. Then boil them in water and when they are cooked, place them in cold water. Put into a pot the vinegar, murri, seasonings, onion, fennel, garlic, oil and ½ c. water. When cooked set the pot aside until the next day.

Split the eggplants into four parts. Dust them with flour and fry until browned. 

Separate the egg yolks and the whites. Beat the yolks. Add the breadcrumbs, flour, saffron and cilantro juice. Whip the egg whites fold them into the mixture.

Cover the eggplant with the spices, onion, garlic, etc. Pour the egg mixture over this.  Cook until done or preheat oven to 350º F /170º C and bake 35-40 minutes.

Garnish the dish with chopped rue, mint, and citron leaves.  


[1] Arabs, Jews and Christians loved eggplant in medieval Spain. This recipe is Hispano-Arab but Gitlitz claims that Jews adapted it into their egg and cheese casseroles for the Sabbath. There was a large Jewish colony in Toledo prior to their expulsion in 1492. [Gitlitz. 1999:77-81] 
[2] See almori published on August 25, 2011 for David Friedman’s “Byzantine Murri Recipe.”
[3] The Jewish dish would call for a mild grated cheese instead of breadcrumbs. 

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