Recipe of the week Sept 19/27
- My apologies for not posting last week. I am currently deep in the
Southwest helping my mother liquidate her winter home and only have
intermittent internet access. But here's a few more recipes for gourds.
The Tacuinum Sanitatis, features an illustration of a largish green
fruit shaped like a crookneck squash or gourd. And offers this advice
Cucurbite (Squash or pumpkin) Nature: Cold and humid in the second
degree, Optimum Those that are fresh and green, Usefulness: The quench
thirst. Dangers They constitute a swift laxative, Neutralization of the
dangers, With salted water and mustard, Effects moderate and cold
nourishment, They are good for choleric temperaments, for the young , in
summer in all regions and about all in Southern Areas.
The Tacuinum Sanitatis The Medieval Heath Handbook, Luisa Cogliati
Arano. I have a lovely edition combining text and pictures from five
extant copies of this book. Originals circa 1380- early 1400’s
While many of the recipes call for young tender gourds, they were also
used in a dried form.
These recipes calling for dried gourd come from Italian sources. The
first two from Venice.The third from Tuscany.
CVII Tart of dried gourd
Take the (dried) gourd and boil it, then grind it well with lard, then
put it into a bowl, add three drained cheese, pepper and saffron and
make a paste and temper it with eggs and make the tart.
To cook good gourds. Take the dried flesh and let it boil well in oil,
but not too much. Take peeled almonds, grind them and put them with the
gourds and make it white, or if you want yellow, and add raisins to it.
Source: Commonly known as Anonimo Veneziano, the Libro di cucina/ Libro
per cuoco hales from the late 14th or early 15th c. and the area around
Venice. The English translation used here is the work of by Helewyse de
Birkestad,(MKA Louise Smithson) from the transcription of Ludovico Frati
(ed.): Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno 1899 prepared and made
available online by Thomas Gloning
 Another preparation. Take dried gourd, and put it to soften with
hot water, in the evening; and when it is softened, slice it finely, and
slice it on a board, with onions, and with oil, pepper and saffron: fry
it and put it in a civero [a cooking base; see recipe 95] made of
vinegar and the soft part of bread, to cook. And in this way it can be
made with almond milk, pepper, saffron, salt and oil with walnut milk.
Source: Anonimo Toscano, Libro della Cocina, The Cookery Book dates to
the late 14th or early 15th c. The English translation is the work of
Vittoria Aureli from the digital version of the original: posted by
And finally a couple of Catalan recipes from Libre del Coch, by Ruperto
de Nola, 1520, English Translation by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain.MKA Robin
Carroll-Mann. It is available on Stefan's Florilegium.
55. MOORISH GOURDS
CALABAZAS A LA MORISCA
Scrape the gourds very well until they are very clean and white, and
then make wide slices and cut them like round fingers; and take onion
and cut it in the same way as the gourd, and to each gourd put two
onions; and when they are cut, cast them in good mutton broth that is
boiling well; and when they are cooked, cast upon them goat milk or
sheep milk, and if there is none, cast in almond milk; and cook the milk
well with the gourds; and when the milk is cooked, turn them well with
your haravillo and cast upon them good grated cheese and fine spices;
and also cumin, and caraway, and a pair of eggs for each dish; and turn
it all together and prepare dishes; and cast sugar and cinnamon upon them.
56. GOURDS IN ANOTHER WAY
OTRA MANERA DE CALABAZAS
Take the most tender gourds that you can get, and clean them so that
they become very white, and cut them into slices which are very thin,
and fry them gently with good fatty bacon; and when they are gently
fried, cast upon them good mutton broth which is very fatty, in which
has been cooked a loin of a good fat cow; and with this broth, cook them
very well, and when they are cooked, cast almond milk or goat milk upon
them; and finish cooking them with the milk, and turn them a great deal
with your tornillo (42) or haravillo in such a manner that not a lump
remains; and this is a good style of gourds, in which there is no cheese
in them, nor eggs, nor onions; however, while cooking, you must cast in
a little verjuice, because otherwise they aren't worth much.
Next month I have "Bready Things" on my agenda. I'll have to remember
what I meant by that, but in the meantime...