This recipe is part of the widest source of ancient Roman recipes, the cookbook attributed to Marcus Gavius Apicius, called De Re Coquinaria (about cooking). It is a simple but surprisingly aromatic poached eggs recipe, prepared with a pine-nuts based sauce.
In ancient Rome, eggs were usually served as appetizers. The best way to taste this dish is with honeyed wine (mulsum) and other ancient Roman starters, as a salad with garum and vinegar (oxygarum), cheese dressed with reduced must, and a few olives.
white wine vinegar
Start preparing the sauce. Soak the pine nuts in water for a couple of hours. Grind in the mortar black pepper and lovage to your taste, then add the pine nuts and a little bit of garum, honey, and vinegar. The aim is obtaining a good balance between acidity, sweetness, and saltiness.
Warm the water without reaching the boiling point, then crack the eggs and gently put them in the pot. Cook for three minutes. The albumen has to be solid and the yolk still creamy.
Plate the eggs coated with sauce and serve.
Garum is an ancient Mediterranean fish sauce, a staple ingredient in Apicius’ cooking. You can substitute it with a Sout-East Asian fish sauce, produced in the same way of some kind of garum. We suggest not using instead sauces like Italian colatura di alici, too salty and fishy. If you don’t find garum or fish sauce, substitute them with salt.
In ovis hapalis: piper, ligusticum, nucleos infusos. suffundes mel, acetum: liquamine temperabis.
Poached eggs: pepper, lovage, soaked pine nuts. Pour honey and vinegar, diluting with garum
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