Pine-Nut Sauce for Medium-Boiled Eggs

It’s that time of year again.  Candlemas and Kingdom A&S.  Which means I’m busy….busy busy.  Yes, after this I’ll be having even MORE recipes.  However here is one more Roman until I can get back the regular scheduled cooking and not writing of research papers on chickens and peacocks.  Not to worry, you’ll be seeing those soon!

Pine-nut Sauce for Medium-Boiled Eggs

 Translation:

For medium-boiled eggs: Pepper, lovage, and soaked pine nuts.  Pour on honey and vinegar; mix with garum.

Ingredients:

Medium-boiled eggs                 1 tsp pepper                 1 cup pine-nuts

3 Tbs. honey                            ¼ cup vinegar               1 tsp garum

Giacosa, pg. 47

Redaction:

First gather all the ingredients into one area.  This step always helps especially if short on time!

Soak the pine-nuts, the time is dependent upon the whim of the cook.

This is after 24 hours.

After soaking the pine-nuts, separate the nuts from the vinegar,

and grind the pine-nuts into a paste,

pour the vinegar back into the pine-nuts adding honey, garum and pepper.

When I did this recipe the very first time, I did not read carefully enough on soaking the pine-nuts.  The first time I did this recipe I used a spice grinder for the pine nuts.  They were un-soaked and chewy.  The next few times I made this, I soaked the pine nuts for 24 hours, which caused them to swell slightly and become soft and grindable. These I ground in a mortar and pestle.  Note of caution, when grinding in a mortar and pestle…don’t put the full cup of pine nuts to be ground in it, unless the mortar is very very large.  I had to do a half cup per grinding so that I was not having to stop and pick up falling nuts every other moment.  The vinegar soaked nuts were very squishy and formed a nice paste though by hand grinding the pine nuts I did not get as smooth a paste as I really had hoped for.  I believe that in Roman times the kitchen slave(s) would have done nothing but this one task to smooth perfection.  I did not have the luxury of grinding one item for 20 minutes for smoooooooooth perfection.  I like how I did the grinding, it just took a lot longer then I wanted to!

The peppers used were peppercorns, of various colors, ground in a mortar and pestle.

I didn’t see the need to go with one type of peppercorn over another.  I like them all!  The honey in period would probably have been a wildflower variety; unfortunately I did not have access or a good supplier for Italian wildflower honey.  I had to do with the Costco honey.  The vinegar originally used was a common variety apple cider vinegar.  I believe that wine vinegar would be used for a richer taste, there for I did this batch with a red wine vinegar.  (I was out of the rose hip wine vinegar).

The finished tasty mix!

The dish I used to mix everything together really is to dark for a vinegar and peppercorn mix.  However give this a try.  You will be amazed!

The eggs are organic, the chicken type that laid them unmentioned at the grocers.

My over all impression of the sauce over boiled egg is a rich, sweet, salty taste that highly complements an egg’s natural mildness.  Very good if not what I would call a common taste.  Some thing to grow into, I’m sure!

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