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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

IDRISI, AL - WITH 14TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR ASPARAGUS IN SAUCE

Tabula Rogeriana by Al-Idrisi
(for King Roger)
Photo from: Zertal
(Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Idris Ash-Sharif), 1099-1166 or 1180 (?). He was born in Ceuta and educated in Cordoba. He traveled extensively ending up in the court of Roger II of Sicily where he became a geographer and physician.

For King Roger he created the first globe of the world. It is made of silver and weighs 400 k. This accompanied the work that is now called The Book of Roger, a geographical encyclopedia composed for the king. After 15 years of work, he presented these to King Roger in 1154 just before his death. The manuscript is based on Islamic and Hellenistic sources, his own travels and those of a team of draftsmen working for him. This study proved to be surprisingly accurate and of great use to explorers who went to America.
Green Aparagus
Photo by: Lord-Williams

It is said that the English call sherry thus for his maps of Spain on which he wrote the Islamic name for Jerez, “Sherisch” appeared. Further, Al-Idrisi wrote several works on the medicinal effects of plants including Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat. Due the numerous plants he identified in several languages, many became available to physicians in various countries. See jerez and sándalo. [ES: Burns. Feb 14, 01; and ES: Digitiser. Sep 1, 99; and Shamsuddín. Sep 21, 01]

ASPARGUS IN SAUCE ADAPTED FROM GREWE’S TRANSLATION OF SENT SOVÍ #CXVIII QUI PARLA CON SA DEUEN APERELLAR ESPÁRECHS AB SALSA. p. 141[1]
For 4-6 persons

Crispy Aspargus - Great Finger Food
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

2 bunches of asparagus, medium size (20-24 stalks)
1 c sherry
1 tbsp dried tarragon leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour


Preparation

Peel the stems of the asparagus and wash them. Boil water in a deep pan in which the asparagus can be cooked standing up without doubling over. Boil asparagus until crunchy. Save the water.

Put the tarragon leaves in a small saucepan with the sherry and cook until the liquid is reduced. Then add 2 c of the water used to boil the asparagus and let it boil 2-3 minutes depending on size.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the flour, stirring it until it becomes a paste. Add the tarragon and sherry with salt. Stir until a creamy texture is obtains (More water from boiling the asparagus may be added as needed.) Let cook for a few minutes.

Reheat the asparagus in the water that is left over from boiling them and cook until done. Heat the sauce and pour it into a bowl.  Finger bowls might be necessary.
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[1] See blog titled espárragos published April 28, 2014 for a different version of this recipe.



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