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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CHARLOTA WITH 13TH C CHARD OR SPINACH DIP RECIPE


Shallots
Photo from: joeysplanting
ascalonia, Cat escaluña, escalunya, L. Allium ascalonicum, Ar. bişal, Fr. échalotte, OE chybolles, Eng. spring onions, U.S. scallion, Aust shallot, green onion, Spanish garlic. Some authors claim that it came from Syria, while others maintain that Jacques Daléchamps (1513-1588), French botanist and doctor of medicine, was responsible for its introduction in England in 1587 but it does not appear to be incorporated in English sauces and salads until 1664. Until the 17th C, the word did not exist in the English language. Still others, on the contrary, declare although the origin is not known, during the Middle Ages it did exist in Andalusia and was an important seasoning in cooking and pickling. Like garlic, the shallot is a bulb but it is slender, elongated and milder. Although it was found to be more digestible than the onion and the flavor more delicate, the same uses apply, see cebolla. The shallot rarely flowers or produces seeds. The bulbs are planted between September and November or in January or February, depending upon the climate in deep, rich soil. See cebolla. [Curye. 1985:178; Stuart. 1987:148; Usher. 1974:33; Villena/Brown: 1984:45:63:73:83:99; Villena/Calero. 2002:99:23a; Villena/Navarro.1879:44; and Villena/Saínz. 1969:136]

SILQ BI-LABAN  (CHARD IN YOGHURT) ADAPTED FROM KITAB AL-TABIKH (A BAGHDAD COOKERY BOOK, 13TH C)[1]

Grating Nutmeg
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients:
¼ c olive oil
2 shallots[2] chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 lb spinach[3]
½ c yogurt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp freshly ground cloves
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Serve with slices of flat bread for dipping

Preparation

Heat a frying pan. Add oil. Add scallions and gently fry until translucent. Add the garlic when scallions begin to become soft. Add spinach and reduce heat. Stir, cover and leave it for another minute or until withered. 

Refreshing Dip Any Time of Year
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Remove from heat and let cool.

Chop spinach with scallions and put mixture in a bowl and add yogurt, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill.

Serve as a dip with thin slices of flatbread.


[1] Found in Perry’s “Description,” p 398.
[2] As shallots are only available during the summer, onions are used as a substitute at other times of year.
[3] Spinach was used instead of Swiss chard.

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