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10 May 2008 @ 06:28 pm
Roman Recipes  
Some of you know this, some of you don't: I'm part of a Roman living history group. Being the only female and (until just last month) the only civilian in our legion, I felt it was my duty to learn and cook some Roman food. Under the cuts are some of the recipes that I've had luck with. They are all adapted from a fantastic cookbook called Roman Cookery by Mark Grant.

Ptisana (Barley Soup)

1 Leek
3/4 c. Pearled Barley
1 t. Dried Dill
1/4 c. Olive Oil
2 T. White Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt

Slice the leek. Place all ingredients into a pan with 2 Pints of water. Simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The soup should be thick, but add more water as needed.

I also like to add roasted garlic to this, as it gives it a bit more flavour. And, being soup, you can add more barley or spices to your taste.

Phakoptisana (Lentil and Barley Soup)

1 Leek
1/3 c. Pearled Barley
1/2 c. Red Lentils
Fresh Dill
Fresh Savory
Sea Salt

Slice the leek. Finely shop the Dill and Savory. Place all ingredients into a pan with 2 Pints of water. Simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Like the above recipe, I recommend adding a bit of roasted garlic. You can also play with the amounts of the ingredients to fit your tastes.

Cucumeres (Braised Cucumbers)

1 Large Cucumber
3 T. White Wine Vinegar
3 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Honey
Sea Salt

Peel and cut the cucumber into thick slices. Pour the White Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Honey into a heavy pan and cook the cucumber slices until they are tender. Serve hot.

My mom makes something almost exactly like this, except she uses Apple Cider Vinegar and serves it cold.

Maza: Barley Cakes

1 1/3 c. Barley Flour
1/3 c. All-Purpose Flour
100 ml. Water
3 T. Honey
2 T. Olive oil

Combine all ingredients. The dough should be firm and supple. Roll dough as flat as possible on a floured board. Cut dough into 4" circles, and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.

The original recipe didn't call for All-Purpose Flour, but the dough was just too sticky without it. Next time I think I'll use the Vitamix and see if I can get the barley flour to be not so coarse. I also think I'll be using the pasta maker to get the dough thinner.

You can add pretty much anything you want to this recipe. I had nice results with poppy seeds, but other herbs and spices would probably work as well.
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ancient scripts: mexican foodancientscripts on May 11th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
The recipes look really cool. I'm an avid cook myself and I love reading about food anthropology and ancient recipes.

A few years ago Archaeology magazine had an article about recreating ancient recipes from Mongolians, Mesopotamians, and Maya. You might find them interesting. The online version is here:


Caroline: Tick Hmm...musesrealm on May 11th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
I'm mostly a baker, but I've been branching out into soups and stews as of late.

That's a really great article! Thanks for recommending it!
lonestar9lonestar9 on May 11th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recipes, I am going to try the Cucumber one soon, maybe tommorrow..and some day the barley soup one as well!!
Caroline: DuJour Word!musesrealm on May 18th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
Let me know how they turn out! :D
Pei: Geeks are Sexya_treitell on May 11th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
You're such a wonderful geek.. :D

(And I didn't even know that Denver HAD a Roman living history group, too cool! :D)
Caroline: Pineconemusesrealm on May 18th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)

We have a viking living history group as well. We usually end up next to them, which is nice because they have fire and we don't. Our groups usually end up sharing food and mead and wine. It makes for a pleasant time.
Peia_treitell on May 18th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a fun (if anachronistic ;)) night :D hehe

They provide the mead, you provide the win? :D
Annwnshonao on May 12th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm gonna snag these from you to share! (if you don't mind?)
A good friend of mine just got his Laurel in period cooking here in the SCA.
He ALWAYS appreciates tried and good recipes!!!

You always have such interesting stuff!!!

Caroline: Sparkling Diamondmusesrealm on May 18th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Snag away! I'll be posting more of them as I experiment more this summer. Any particular types of recipes or foods that you are interested in?
Annwnshonao on May 18th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
ANYTHING period really!
My fried is receiving his Laurel (it's an SCA peerage) for period cooking.
So he's ALWAYS playing with stuff.

I play with them a little, but it always makes him squee like a school girl when I give him new recipes, and he always tests them out on his wife, so all are happy! *lol*

Thanks doll!