“The Art of Cooking; The First Modern Cookery Book’
“the eminent Maestro Martino of Como”
as translated by Jeremy Parzen.
Not being a numbered book, this is the last recipe in the Riva del Garda section, on page 126. Unfortunately, there is no original in this book to refer back to, only an English translation.
I have a nice little head of cabbage, and thought it would be nice to make some stuffed leaves.
parsley, marjoram, mint, pepper, saffron*
fat*, eggs, cheese*
I used whole hazelnuts and did not blanche them. I strongly suggest blanching them. The skins were bitter in the dish, which was less of a good thing than anticipated.
First, I grated the cheese* into the bowl with the herbs and seasonings. I had no parsley, but used fresh mint, dried marjoram, walnuts (also not blanched, though less of an issue, much less less manageable), eggs, fat, pepper, and garlic, but no saffron*.
After blanching the cabbage leaves in salted water and processing the nut based stuffing in the machine, I stuffed the cabbage like galumpkes rather than making a loaf.
(hmm, maybe I can do this as a slide show?)
Using the same pot I had blanched the leaves in, I steamed the stuffed cabbage rolls in about a half inch of the salted water remaining from blanching the leaves.
Not having a lid for this particular pot, I used some foil to help hold steam.
They took just under 10 minutes to cook, and only took a whole 10 minutes to assemble because I was taking pictures.
The flavor was pleasant, with the earthy nuts, bright seasoning, and sweet cabbage leaves.
2 oz hazelnuts
2 oz walnuts
2 oz asiago cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp marjoram (dry)
1 tsp parsley (dry)
a handful of fresh mint
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, whole, beaten
3 oz melted veal fat (book calls for minced)
3 cabbage leaves.
– heavy on the costs from nuts
– labor intensive; small batches in a food processor, someone has to blanch a lot of leaves
– Not clearly meat, but not vegetarian (can sub the fat, it just needs a little something to avoid tasting mealy and dry)
– Needs wet cooking, so oven or large steamers
+ Minimal assembly fuss
All in all, this recipe is not worth making for more than 12 people. The main reason to invest in nuts is to provide an alternate protein, this is neither cost effective nor vegetarian enough to bother with.
I would make it for a picnic basket in a heartbeat though, it’s portable food, not gloppy, interesting flavors, and doesn’t require much in the way of effort to transport.
*I start with asiago then move sharper, saltier, or milder depending.
*My general rule with saffron is not to add it until I am using a dish regularly and have the recipe right where I want it, it’s much too dear.
*the recipe called for veal fat, which we actually had from a prior recipe. I used it rendered, what I had could not be minced as called for. Olive oil would work well, I do not think butter would be pleasant if this were intended as a dish served cold.