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Friday, May 31, 2013

COMPLEXIÓN AN EXTRAORDINARY BREAST OF LAMB FOR GOOD HUMORS


Gazelle
Photo from: Shoayb Hesham
O Cast complisión, Eng. complexion, “the blending of the qualities” each humor produces; the complexion or total of its components determines the quality of the body in medieval physiology. Humors are produced by the four elements: the earth, water, fire, air. The humor blood creates hot and moist qualities resulting in a sanguine temperament of the complexion. The phlegm produces cold and moist resulting in the phlegmatic component. Yellow or green bile make hot and dry resulting in choleric. The percentages of these factors vary according to the year, day, time and hour of birth, the quantity and complexion of the humors of the food ingested, etc. A person in whom the blood humor dominates, for example, has a ‘sanguine temperament’ or ‘Sovereignty’. Black bile in cod produces dry results in the melancholic factor.

The humors of lamb and mutton were considered more compatible for humans than goat. The female goat was favored over the male while a male sheep was thought to have a better “complexion” than the female. A medieval noble hunting deer, for example, would kill a female before the male because its black bile is not as thick. The gazelle was the preferred game as it is hot and dry.  [Drummond. 1964:65-66; and Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:153:222]

ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY LAMB BREAST ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL.ANDALUS #34. OTRO COSTADO EXTRAORDINARIO, p 32

Pounding Cilantro to Make Juice
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients


1 lb lamb plus bones
150 ml vinegar
300 ml red wine
¼ c oiive oil
6 sprigs cilantro
3 sprigs mint
3 sprigs thyme
1 onion
1 tsp murri[1]

Garnish:
1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

Take the breast of a plump lamb and cook it in vinegar until it is done (if using a pressure cooker 10-15 minutes). Then remove it and strain the meat saving the juice.

A Uniquely Tasty Dish for Lamb Lovers
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Chop the cilantro and then put it in a food processor or a mortar. Add ½ c water and turn the food processor on high or mash the cilantro in the mortar with the water.

Heat a large frying pan and pour in oil. cilantro juice, mint, thyme, murri [2] and a whole, skinned onion; when its flavor is discernible, remove the onion out and add the lamb. Fry it until the sides are browned. Then with cinnamon and cut it up. Instead of frying the lamb may be cooked in the oven.

THE SPANISH MEDIEVAL CHEF’S ADDITION: pour the remaining juice into a measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 1 cup. Add 1 tbsp flour to the olive oil in the frying pan, stirring constantly until smooth. Slowly add the cup of liquid, stirring constantly until it thickens. Serve with the lamb. This is the right touch to prevent the lamb from being a little dry.  Also, a mint sauce can accompany it.


[1] See blog titled al-murri, published August 25, 2011.
[2] The original recipe calls for sprinkling murrio ver the lamb just befote serving but by adding it while frying enhances the flavor of the lamb more.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

COMPAÑA WITH 15TH RECIPE FOR MUSTARD SAUCE


Mustard Seed (rt) Ground into Powder (lt)
Photo by: Lord-Williams

family, servants and retainers living in the lord’s house. Nola relates that the Supply Officer was in charge of supplying food stuffs for the lord, his family, servants and retainers living in the household. [Nola/Pérez. 1994:192]

MUSTARD SAUCE ADAPTED FROM NOLA #l-1 MOSTAZA[1]

Ingredients

50 gr mustard seed
1 slice of bread
1 c meat broth
¼ c honey

Preparation
An Interesting Sauce for An Interesting Twist
Photo by: Lord-Williams


Clean mustard seeds. Mash them in a mortar until they become fine powder. Add a little meat broth. Soak a slice of bread in meat broth. Mix this with the mustard. Add the rest of the broth and the honey. Heat all until thick like gravy Serve with boiled veal or pork.
This recipe was well known in Cataluña. Some add vinegar to the broth; also toasted and ground almonds may be added. 



[1] This was a common household supply in Catalonia.

Monday, May 27, 2013

COMINO WITH 13TH CENTURY MEATBALL RECIPE, THE PERFECT TWIST FROM MUNDANE TO UNIQUE


Cumin des présIn 
in 2 months the fruit can be used as seeds
Photo from: Clarabena
Gr. kyminon, L. Cuminum cymminum, Ar. kuzbara, kummūn, kammoon, Persian, zīreh, ME comyn, Eng. cumin. A native of Turkistan, cumin quickly adapted to the Mediterranean Region, especially Levant, where it was exported to China and India. Jews used it in cakes and cheeses. It is mentioned in the Bible (Isa 2:25, 27;
Dem. 2:1 and Matthew xxiii, xxiii, 23). 

The Romans prior to or after meals drank a cumin a tonic or infusion to stimulate the stomach. Emperor Claudio issued an edit permitting it to be consumed at his dinner table. Romans introduced cumin to Spain but over the centuries it was forgotten.

Cumin Seeds macro
Photo from: Swami Stream
In 1031, the Arabs reintroduced it to Spain, bringing it from Arabia Petraea (Rocky Arabia, the area between Egypt and Mesopotamia). They obviously promoted its use as crops became abundant in Andalusia within the same century, especially in the southern part. It adapted best in the Las Alpujarras (the region from Granada to Almería).

The seeds, actually the dried fruits of the plant, and leaves were systematically used in Al-Andalus culinary art for their flavor and color. They were used to favor chicken, lamb, yugart and eggplant. They were used especially in dishes containing vinegar and sauces for fried foods as they facilitated digestion after eating food that was not easily broken down. Reportedly, Jews mixed the seeds with honey and pepper and ate this twice day to become sexually excited. Not only did cumin come to mean exorcism but also fidelity and protection. The seeds were added to fresh cheese with a little goat’s milk and to cakes. The seeds taste like caraway but are more sour and bitter. Cumin has been used often as a substitute for caraway. The seeds were included in various homemade medicinal concoctions. Dioscorides classified them as hot to the third degree and thus claimed them useful for iliac pains and to prevent urine retention.

Ground Cumin Seeds
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Following the Muslim exodus from the peninsula (from end of the 15 C to the beginning of the 16 C), cumin seeds began to fall into disuse again. Now cumin is grown on the Mediterranean but rarely in Spain. Today the seeds are used as flavoring for Lieden cheese and are an ingredient for curry.

Medicinally, they are used as a home remedy for stomach problems and as an antispasmodic. The oil is used medicinally. Cumin is added to alcoholic beverages for flavoring and to perfumes for the aroma. See alcaravea. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:66; Herbs. Oct 8, 02; ES: Mabberley. Oct 11, 01; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a]

A MEATBALLS DISH ADAPTED FROM HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ÁNDALUS #4. PLATO DE ALBÓNDIGAS, p 17

Cumin added to Ground Beef to be Fried
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
juice from 1 onion (about ¼ c)
1 tsp virgin olive oil
1 tsp murri[1]
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp saffron mashed and dissolved in a little oil
1 egg

For frying:
¼ c virgin olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 garlic clove crushed
½ tsp saffron mashed
½ tsp cumin

Frying Meatballs Flavored with Cumin
Photo by: Lord-Williams
 The finishing touch:
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp saffron
½ tsp white pepper 

This dish is delicious and nutritious, and similar to the previous recipe for another variety of meatballs. 

Preparation

After grinding the meat, pound it in a mortar. Roll it out on a platter. Add the following 8 ingredients, and knead it well until all is evenly mixed. Make large meatballs.


The Perfect Twist from Mundane to Unique
Photo by: Lord-Williams
 Heat a large pan and add oil, vinegar, murri, cumin. When this boils, add the meatballs. When cooked, turn off  the heat.

Beat eggs with saffron and pepper. Pour this over the meatballs and roll them around to cover them with this mixture. Cover the pan and let stand until the eggs coagulate.

As with any variety of tafaya this dish may be colored at will.  See blog titled color published  May 10, 2013 for color ideas.



[1] See blog titled almorí published on August 26, 2011 for recipe.

Friday, May 24, 2013

COMINADA ALIXANDRIA, A CONFECTION FOR HOARSENESS


Alexanders
Photo from: ExeDave

comindada oriental, 1. confection of cumin seed and alisanders or alexanders (L. Smyrnium olusatrum). 2. A confection to prevent hoarseness consisting of cumin and alisanders mixed with lemon preserved in sugar, fine ginger and rose honey. 3. Meat or fish dish. See apio caballar and comino  [Ruíz/Brey. 1965:206:1335a; Serrano. 2008:383; and Singleton. 1975:127]

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

COMIDA DE ENCARGA WITH CHICKEN KEBAB RECIPE


Yemen - Fresh Sesame Pastries at...
Photo from: LittleMissSunny
ready-made food. As seen in Knights, ready-made food is as old as the souks. Harisa could be bought in medieval Andalusian souks. Inspectors made their rounds testing the brews and checking the weights on scales to prevent vendors from cheating clients. At the same time, in England, pork pies, wafers and scones were peddled on the streets especially around Westminster and Pettycoat Lane. [Bolens. 1990:59; and Wilson. 1973:253]

Chicken Kebabs were and still are sold as ready made food in Souks. No recorded recipes  seem to be available but this is one of many that could be authentic. The Spanish Medieval Chef, at least, has wonderful memories in Fez, Morocco munching a chicken kebab such as this: 

Ingredients 

A Chicken Kebab to Melt in Your Mouth
Photo by: Lord-Williams1 ½ tbsp olive oil

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

juice from one lemon
2 pressed garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp chopped oregano
2 tbsp chopped parsley
¼ tso salt
1 ginger scraping
1 lb chicken breast cubed

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients except the chicken. Add chicken and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to eat, put meat on skewers. Grill over charcoal if available or broil in oven. Turn skewers every 4-5 minutes until done.

Heat left over marinade to serve as sauce.

Serve immediately.






Monday, May 20, 2013

COMIDA, VIANDA WITH 15TH CENTURY HALF COOKED APPLE RECIPE


Food in Kind Given in Payment to the Lord
Photo by: Lord-Williams
meal, food item. In the Middle Ages, vassals were the chief suppliers of food items for the lords’ meals as they paid their tithes in kind.

HALF COOKED APPLES IN ALMOND MILK ADAPTED FROM VILLENA’S MIRRAUSTE DE MANZANAS, VILLENA/CALERO. 2002, p. 110

Ingredients

4 apples[1]
juice from 1 lemon
½ c toasted almonds
1 slice of bread
½  tsp ground cinnamon
¼ c  sugar

Garnish:
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation

A perfect dish for Apple Lovers
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Choose sweet apples. Peel them and cut them in fourths. Remove the cores and seeds. Boil water, add lemon juice and when boiling add the apples. When almost soft, strain the apples, saving the broth. When the apples are cool cut into chunks.

Take toasted almonds and mash them in a mortar. Add 2 c broth from the apples. Add a slice of bread soaked in 1/3-1/2 c broth from the apples. Mash this in a mortar and then strain it through a woolen cloth. Season the liquid with cinnamon and sugar. Place this in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  When boiling, remove it from the heat. Add the apples. After coating them with the sauce, place the mixture in bowls and garnish with sugar and cinnamon.



[1] This and the other ingredients for this dish, except cinnamon which was imported, are examples of foods paid in kind by vassals to the lord.

Friday, May 17, 2013

COMIDA, LA - WITH A 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR BREAD


Dough Being Left to Rise
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Cat. menjar, the meal. It was served at 12 p.m in medieval Spain. The meal was synonymous with abundance in the Middle Ages. This could be a banquet in castles and palaces consisting of poultry, boar, trout, and wine. A good host was one who offered enough food to satisfy a lion. 

A meal consisting of small quantities was synonymous with poverty, a despicable position in a class-orientated society. Consumption in convents varied. The nuns of the Berciano (León) ate botillo del Bierzo (“half a boot,” tripe filled with minced pork) while the monks of Sahagún were as opulent as the nuns of San Pedro de las Dueñas (Burgos) who ate bread as well as hearty dishes and drank wine, matured in kegs covered with mold and spider’s webs. 

Pilgrims and peasants nibbled on bread, a little salt pork and sipped wine. Bread is synonymous with “meal”. Even in the 20th C, a foreign bride in Spain, who forgot the bread, was asked by her Spanish father-in-law ‘where was the meal?’ She could not understand until her husband explained that the bread was missing. The noun comida and verb comer actually are derived from verb comedir, meaning to think, premeditate, to take measures for something or to be moderate and to contain oneself. [Alonso Luengo. 1994:39; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:entire; and Lladonosa. 1976:158]
ADiffrent Shape of Dough Ready for the Oven
Photo by: Lord-Williams

BAKED BREAD ADAPTED FROM FADALAT [1] PAN COCIDO EN EL HORNO[1]

So Yummy!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

200 g hot water
400 g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 pk  dry yeast
50 g animal fat[2] or oil

Preparation

Lightly oil bread pans.


Heat the water. Pour it into a bowl. Originally, the recipe calls for soaking the flour. There is no need for that today. Add the rest of the ingredients except the fat or oil. Rub this on hands and knead. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time if necessary and continue kneading for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.


Divide the dough shape it into loaves as desired. Sprinkle with flour. Brush the loaves with olive oil. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. When it has risen sufficiently, it will emit a noise when struck.

PREHEAT OVEN 450ºF/220ºC.

Immediately, bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.  Clean the loaves and put them in a breadbasket for consumption.



[1] See blog titled aludir published September 15, 2011 for a different version of this recipe.
[2] As this is a Hispano-Arabic recipe, lard should not be used due to the prohibition of pork in the Muslim religion.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

COMEDOR WITH HAKE OR DRIED FISH RECIPE


Dining Room
Photo from: CoasterMadMatt
dining hall 30 paces long and 10 wide in castles and palaces. These were multi-purpose rooms. After meals, the tables were removed for dancing and other activities.  Convents and monasteries had refectories, permanent dining rooms, which the Archpriest of Hita calls handsome with tables set with tablecloths. Peasants normally did not have a dining room but ate in the kitchen. Noble children ate in the nursery. From the 15th C on, small dinners could be served in other rooms of the castle or palace including a bedroom of the lords for privacy and comfort. [Ruíz/Brey. 1965:1248c:195]

HAKE OR DRIED FISH ADAPTED FROM VILLENA’S MERLUZA O PESCADO SECO. VILLENA/CALERO. 2002, p 109

Ingredients

1 lb hake or dry fish such as cod
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp tarragon
¼ c olive oil for frying
½ c almonds
Frying Fish in Oil
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 slice of day old bread
¼-1/3 c vinegar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp pepper
¼ sp tarragon
 1 tbsp sugar or honey

Garnish
lemon wedges
parsley

Preparation

Select a dry hard white fish. Wash off salt and remove scales, If salted rinse three or four times and soak overnight.

Boil 3 cups water with 1 tsp vinegar and tarragon. Add the fish and simmer 8 minutes. Do not let the water boil or the meat will fall apart.

A Perfect Fish Day Dish
Photo by. Lord-Williams
Heat a frying pan. Add olive oil. When very hot add the fish.  Fry it only a little because the cod fish and hake becomes hard with frying.

Toast almonds and grind them in a mortar with a slice of bread soaked in vinegar, to make the sauce sweet and sour. After straining this through a woolen cloth, season with spices. Do not use saffron. The cinnamon should dominate. Add sugar or honey. Heat the sauce. Put the fish on a platter and drizzle a little oil used for frying the fish over it. Then pour the sauce over the fish and serve. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

COMBINAN WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR MARZIPAN



Marzipan Paste, a combination of chicken, almonds and sugar
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast conbrian, they combine. [Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:194]  

MARZIPANS FOR THE SICK 
WHO HAVE LOST THEIR
APPETITE, OF STIMULAT-ING SUBSTANCE ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S xxxiiii-3 MAZAPANES PARA DOLIENTES QUE PIERDAN EL COMER, MUY BUENOS Y DE GRAN SUSTANCIA[1]
For one 8" wafer

Ready made Wafer 8" diameter
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

½ chicken breast
almonds
white sugar
orange blossom water
1 round wafer 8" in diameter[2]

Preparation

Place the chicken breast in a pan of water. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower 
heat and gently boil until cooked, about 20 minutes. When done reserve the broth.

Remove the meat from the bones and skin and weigh it. Add the same amount of peeled almonds. Grind the almonds and then combine the almonds with the meat. Then grind again combining this with the same amount of powdered sugar.

Marzipan Fresh from the Oven
With Broth Drink for the Ailing
Photo by: Lord-Williams
 
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/175ºC

Knead the mixture like dough. Roll the it out into a circle or whatever shape the wafer is and place it on a wafer to make marzipan. Make the edges of the paste a little higher than the middle. Moisten the marzipan with orange blossom water. Sprinkle ground, sifted powdered sugar over them.

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the marzipan on this and bake 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove the marzipan from the parchment paper taking care that it does not break.

Give this to the sick as this is a very singular dish and of great help for the sick who have lost their appetite because a little of this has more sustenance than any other food item; particularly if the broth is drunk the benefits are invaluable.  



[1] See blog titled alticas published September 13, 2011 for a different interpretation of this recipe.
[2]As making these is an art for which the Medieval Spanish Chef does not have the proper machinery, it was bought ready made at the local supermarket where 2 doz are sold for less than two Euros.

Friday, May 10, 2013

COLOR WITH A PURELY WHITE MANGE RECIPE


Saffron Added to Make A Golden Dish
Photo by: Lord-Williams
color. From Roman times through the medieval period colored foods were a delight at the dinner table. White was the most valued color. Blancmange (manjar blanco) was the classic of medieval times. Apicius colors dishes white with white sauce (salsa blanca). The Forme of Cury uses amylum. White vinegar or old verjuice also could be used for this purpose. The Anon Al-Andalus recommends tafaya, a pottage, whitened with almond milk. In England, a white porray or leek pottage was a popular Lentan dish thickened with almond milk. White honey, egg whites, milk, cheese, wine, white flour (sifted several times with no bleach), white bread and white sugar were used as well.

Chopped Parsley with Water makes a Dish Green
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Anón Al-Andalus is filled with recipes calling for saffron and/or egg yolks to color food yellow or gold, the noblest color, such as the banquet Dishes of Mukhallal, Sweetened Mukhallal and Bilâja. Madder could be used instead of saffron to color Zulabiyya. To color the same dish dark red, brazilwood or gum lac is suggested. The Forme of Cury uses sandalwood, Mawmenee red, crushed red roses and red wine for Saracen Sauce and other dishes. Anón Al-Andalus gives a recipe for sandalwood syrup, a sandalwood electuary and a pomegranate syrup for red dishes. Jews boiled eggs in water with onion skins, the red root of alkanet, borage, or crushed red roses to color the shells red. Galingal, and currants were used also to color food red.

Green fennel juice or fox grape juice was recommended during this period to color food green. Spinach, mallows, sorrel, and cilantro too were used for this purpose. Forme of Cury and Nola use parsley while Sent Soví produces a green sauce with mint. The English green porray consists of vegetables, parsley and other herbs.

Shredding Chicken Breast in Rosewater
Photo by: Lord-Williams
To color food blue, mulberry extract is recommended. Turnsole also produces blue. Ginger was used to make food light brown while cinnamon and cumin colored it dark brown. Blood was used boiled and fried to turn food brown or black. In short medieval foods were a rainbow of colors. Today, this is synonymous with nutrition unless M/M’s are poured on a plate. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:CLXVI:179-180; Anón/Huici.1966:14:21-22:16:23:68:49-50 etc; Apicius/Flower. 1958:I:3(a):123:VI:4-5:163-164:VI:9:165; Black. Food. 1985:13; Curye. 1985: 16:86:22:102:68: 113 etc; Gitlitz. 1999:149-150:197; and Nola. 1989:xiii-3:xiiii-2:liiii-1 etc]

HOW TO MAKE SHREDDED BANCMANGE ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ  #L,
 
QUI PARLA CON SA DEU FFER MAYAR BLANCH DEFFILAT[1], pp 94-95 
For 6 persons

Ingredients
1 chicken breast
1 onion
1 c rosewater
1 l almond milk
200 gr rice flour
25 gr sugar

Blancmanage with Rosewater
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

Scorch and clean the chicken breast well. Boil it in 3 l water with the onion. When cooked, take the breast out of the broth and let it cool. Remove skin and bones. Shred the meat and put it in a deep bowl with the rosewater.

Boil the broth until reduced to approximately 1 l (if there is a lot of grease, skim some off), add almond milk and gently boil it. Stir it with a wooden spoon while adding the flour; keep stiring while it thickens. Add the chicken with the rosewater and sugar and let it cook 8-10 minutes more, stirring constntly. If a more liquid consistency is desired, add more broth. Serve in soup bowls. If more sweetness is desired aprinkle sugar on top. If more aroma is desired add more rosewater.


[1] Calero, an editor of Villena’s Arte Cisoria, maintains that it originated in Provence.
The name is adapted into English and Spanish from French meaning "white
eating." Hiatt believes the recipes in Form of Curye are similar to
Apicius’ recipe "Cibarium/Album", an almond based sweet sauce. Although
the basic ingredients, almond milk, rice and sugar, came to Europe
through the Arabs, Perry suspects that only the name, "Harisa de Arroz"
(Rice Harisa) can be attributed to the Arabs. Hispano-Arab recipes show
no record of blancmange. The first is in the Catalan text Sent Soví from
the 14th Century. For other blancmange recipes published by the Medieval Spanish Chef see blogs titled: Chaucer for the English version published December 17, 2012; cetería, for another Sent Soví version published November 26, 2012; cangrejo del rio with Sent Sovís shellfish version publised 19 July 2012;  beca for Nola’s 15th Century Caltalan fish version. It is a sure winner on dinner tables. This version is unique for the rosewater, which makes it exquisite.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

COLODRA


Wooden Bucket? Maybe..... IMG_2439
Photo from:
 ForestPath

1. a wooden tub used between the 13th-15th C for milking goats, sheep and cows. 2. A wooden receptacle in which wine is measured. 3. a wooden vessel with a handle for drinking. 4. horn with a cork covering the bottom used as a tumbler. [Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:34:ftn 73:42]

Monday, May 6, 2013

COLOCASIA WITH 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR LENTILS IN HOLLANDAISE SAUCE


Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott
Photo from: adaduitokla
Gr. kolocasia, L. Colocasia antiquorum or Colocasia esculenta Eng. taro or colocaia taro, elephant ear. It is believed to be a native of India, where it was cultivated some 7,000- 10,000 years ago. It was of the earliest cultivated plants. It spread through the South Pacific and the Mediterranean, especially Egypt and Africa. Arabs brought it to Spain in 714 with sugar cane. The plant needs abundant water and takes from 7 to 18 months to grow depending on soil conditions. It grows only in humid tropics, in wetlands or irrigated areas. The leaves and tubers, which look like potatoes, are eaten. Tubers are baked, roasted or boiled. They are rich in  vitamins and starch. Arabs added taro to lentils. They fried or boiled them to make a broth served with meat. One recipe calls for them being served with meat and yogurt. Taro can be made into a pudding. Ibn Razīn provides a variation of lentils with taro. It has been a common staple in numerous countries as the root contains easily digestible starch like the potatoIt should be eaten immediately once cut. It should not be eaten raw for the toxic content. After peeling, it is sliced and boiled or baked under ashes or an oven. As the potato, it can be served with a variety of foods.

Boiled Lentil Mixture
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Apicius mentions several methods for preparing taro, including boiling it, preparing it with sauces, and cooking it with meat or fowl. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the use of taro dwindled in Europe. This was largely due to the decline of trade and commerce with Egypt, previously controlled by Rome. Taro has remained popular in the Canary Islands. 

[Kiple. 2000:I:218-229; II:1866; Ibn Razīn/Granja. 1960:377:29; and Perry. “Kitāb.” 2001:474:475] 

LENTILS IN 13TH CENTURY HOLLANDAISE SAUCE ADAPTED FROM FADALAT #377 GUISO DE LENTEJAS, p 29

Ingredients

13th Century Hollandaise Sauce with Saffron
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 c lentils
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp cilantro
1 onion chopped or chopped taro boiled or with starch dissolved over low heat
salt to taste

For the Sauce[1]:
1 tsp mashed and dissolved saffron
1 tbsp vinegar
3 eggs
½  c virgin olive oil


Preparation

Lentils in Hollandaise Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Wash lentils. Soak them in water overnight. Strain off water and rinse. Put them in a pressure cooker half full with boiling water, 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp pepper, cilantro and onion or taro.[2] Lower heat a simmer about 5 minutes until done.

For the sauce:

Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food blender. Beat in all the ingredients on high for a minute. Continue beating and add olive oil one drop at a time as if making mayonnaise. When all is blended, heat water in the bottom of a double boiler. Add the sauce to the top part and heat for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Pour over the lentils, mix well and serve immediately.


[1] It is most curious to note that these are the same ingredients as those for Hollandaise sauce  using olive oil instead of butter and vinegar instead of lemon. Wikipedia states that the sauce first appears in a Dutch cookbook dating from 1593! Ibn Razin beat the Dutch to it!
[2] Taro could not be found. As the lentils are from a Hispano-Muslim recipe, neither pork nor new world products could be admitted. It seems like the scribe is leaving it up to the imagination of the cook to liven up the dish unless taro has the finishing touch which is missing if not found.