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Friday, October 21, 2016

NABO WITH A 13TH C RECIPE FOR TURNIPS IN A MEAT SAUCE

 Nabos
Frutas y Verduras JP
L. Brassica rapa, rapae, Fr. rave, MEng rapes, Eng. turnip. Although the word commonly refers to the white fleshy root of the plant, it does encompass the hairy leaves and yellow flowers. Since ancient times, it has been cultivated as a vegetable thought to have originated in Central or Eastern Asia.

After boiling the young shoots, they were served as greens or eaten raw if tender. The roots appear from May through the end of February in soups and stews and with legumes, meat and fish.

In medieval cookery, turnip-headed cooks always made turnips turn up for turnip-faced guests. Even cows were fed turnips. Sheep eat more beginning with the flowers and leaves and ending with the root. Obviously, they have eaten so many over the ages that now there are turnip sheep, except for little Bow Beep’s that never did turned up.

Gerard indicates that it is an easy plant to cultivate as it grows in fallow fields. There are so many varieties that it is claimed that American aborigines only ate Indian turnips.

They were known in Roman times as Apicius points out. To preserve them, he relates, they should be cleaned and placed in a vessel and covered with a mixture of myrtle-berries with honey and vinegar. He provides two methods for boiling them, one with herbs, honey, vinegar, liquamen and oil and another with oil and vinegar.  Finally, he gives a recipe for crane or duck with turnips.

Andalusian Arabs supposedly hated turnips but not only did they introduce them to Al-Andalus, they always turned up in dishes, sliced and seasoned with olive oil or garum and salt. They were cooked with meat or boiled and served with another legume and cilantro sauce. At the end of the 14 C in Alpujarreña, they were included in pottages consisting of lamb or mutton, chickpeas and beans. Mozarabes ate them with dried legumes like lentils or fava beans and with eggplant.

In León and Galicia turnips were consumed everyday of the week like the potatoe today. Turnips in northern Spain continue to be consumed frequently.

Villena advises to cut them vertically, like carrots, if eaten raw horizontally if boiled. The turnip is noted for its nutritive value, but has always been considered a poor man’s dish, which like garlic and onion, it turns up as the poor man’s aphrodisiac.

[Anón/Huici. 1966:200:126-127:277:160:457:251; Apicius/Flower. 1958: 55:83-85:143:Gázquez. 2002:116; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:42; Usher. 1974:100; Villena/Calero. 2002:23a:41a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:44]

ANOTHER SIMPLE TURNIP DISH ADAPTED FROM ANÓN/HUICI, AL-ANDALUS #457 HECHRA DE NABO, TAMBIÉN – SIMPLE, p 251

Ingredients

Very Tastey!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 k meat
salt to taste
1 onion
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp coriander seed
½ tsp cumin
1 turnip (about 5 oz)
1 c cilantro juice

Preparation

Select tender, fatty meat and chop it. Put it in a pot with onion and seasoning. Cook until almost done.

Peel a turnip. Slice it in large pieces. Scald it. Add it to the meat and leave until cooked or boil the turnip like other vegetables, which is tastier. When almost add it to the meat and finish cooking.

If cooking turnips separately, reserve 1 c broth. Wash cilantro leaves and put them in a food processor with the broth: Chop well. 

Remove the meat and turnips from heat and add cilantro juice. Let sit 20 minutes before serving.

ANÓN/HUICI, AL-ANDALUS #457 







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