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Roman recipes
Cymas et cauliculos
(Cauliflower in Celery Mint Sauce)

By Apicius, III, IX, 1

Cymas et cauliculos
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The Roman Cookery of Apicius

A recipe to accompany the main course. Pliny notes that Apicius, who had an "exquisite palate" scorned the cymae but implies that was not the case for Drusus, emperor Tiberius's son, who allegedly loved broccoli to such an excess he ate it exclusively for one month.

Original recipe: Cuminum, salem, vinum vetus et oelum. Si voles, addes piper et ligusticum, mentam, rutam, coriandrum, folia coliclorum, liquamen, vinum, oleum.

Translation: Boil the sprouts; season with cumin, salt, wine and oil; if you like add pepper, lovage, mint, rue, coriander; the tender leaves of the stalks stew in broth; wine and oil be the seasoning.

Ingredients

For the First sauce:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ t. Cumin
  • pinch of Salt
  • 2 T. White wine
  • 1 T. Olive oil

For the Second sauce:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ t. Ground pepper
  • ½ t. Celery seed (or lovage)
  • ½ t. Mint
  • pinch of rosemary (or rue)
  • ¼ t. Coriander
  • ½ c. Vegetable stock
  • 3 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. Olive oil or butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower, cabbage, or bunch of broccoli (all three could also be combined in this recipe)

Preparation

  • Take cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli, quarter them, and put in a pot.
  • For the first sauce, combine the cumin, salt, wine, olive oil, and enough water to steam the vegetable.
  • Add to the vegetables, bring to a boil, then simmer gently till done.
  • Meanwhile, in a mortar: Grind pepper, celery seed (or lovage), mint, rosemary (or rue) and coriander.
  • Add to stock, vinegar, and olive oil or butter.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer to reduce for 25 minutes.
  • Serve over the cooked, strained vegetables.
  • (All three vegetables may be combined in this recipe)
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