Monday, 1 September 2014

Ceci con ove

This is a favourite dish of us, consisting of chickpeas and soft cheese. It is tasty, suitable for vegetarians and easy to make. As a consequence this dish is made most of the times we are re-enacting. 

The original recipe of 'ceci con ove', or 'chickpeas with eggs and cheese' stems from Il libro della cucina, a 14th century Tuscan cookbook. The modern adaptation is by Constance B. Hieatt, Brenda Hosington and Sharon butler and can be found in their book 'Pleyn Delit - medieval cookery for modern cooks'.

Take fresh young chickpeas, boiled; 
and pour off the water, then cook them with spices, saffron, salt and oil 
and beaten eggs, cheese or meat as you wish.

The modern cooks, and we as well, used dried or canned chickpeas instead of fresh chickpeas. Especially if you use the latter the dish is very fast to make.

3-4 cups cooked dried chickpeas (or 2 cans chickpeas)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and coriander
salt to taste
pinch of ground saffron
4 eggs, beaten
a package of soft goat cheese (around 200 g)

If you use dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in water. Cook the chickpeas in the water in a grape or pipkin (with a lid) near the fire, occasionally turning the other side of the pipkin to the fire. Beat the eggs with the seasoning, the oil and the cheese. Drain the chickpeas and add the egg-cheese mixture. Put the pipkin by the fire to reheat, while stirring the contents, to slightly thicken the sauce.

Though the dish does not look that appetising, it tastes deliciously and is also eaten well by our children (who are quite suspicious of most other medieval dishes...)

The red earthenware pipkin (without a lid)
is standing at the edge of the fire.

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