Agraz-Verjus Andalusí Paco Morales
The agraz-verjus Paco Morales is a delicate and perfumed Andalusi dressing (from Al-Andalus period, 8th to 15th centuries) that the two star Michelin chef Paco Morales recreates from the juice squeezed from the sour grapes of the organic vineyard of the Robles family in Montilla.
Paco Morales recovers the use as a seasoning for the sour grapes, whose virtues were already praised by Maimónides in the 12th century. It complements and enhances the main ingredient that it accompanies, without masking its flavour. It has a mild acidity, with a light but definite background of vegetable sweetness. It is an excellent choice when food is accompanied by wine, as it does not distort its flavour by sharing both the same type of acid (tartaric), as opposed to the citric acid of lemons or the acetic acid of vinegar.
This dressing, in which aromatic plants and spices can be macerated, can be used in recipes for vegetables, pickles, meat stews and fish. It enhances the flavor of any type of soup or stew, particularly those that use red meats. If you like to combine fruit and meat, agraz -verjus is particularly indicated: in a lamb stew with mint and peaches, for example, agraz -verjus brings up the aromatics in a way that lemon juice or vinegar simply can’t. In desserts, a reduction of agraz-verjus brings freshness without increasing sweetness.
One of our favorite uses doesn’t even require a recipe: Sprinkle a few handfuls of baby arugula with sea salt and coarse-ground pepper, shave thirty or sixty grams of Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it all with equal amounts of agraz-verjus and extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat the leaves. Salads can’t get much simpler, or much better.