“Still lifes”, by unknown artist, 62-79, 1st century A.D., ripped fresco, 100-234 cm Italy, Campania, Naples, National Archaeological museum, room LXXIV, inv. 8611.
Detail: Glass vase, or receptacle, full of white and red-peels apples, and a full grapevine bunch; on the table is a half-cut pomegranate with the arils, its red and juicy seeds.
This painting, discovered in the ancient city of Pompeii, is extraordinary for its naturalism and the gentleness with which each piece of fruit is represented, using a different pigment for each piece of the bunch of grapes that constitutes the center of the painting.
It is also notable the contrast between the solid transparent bowl (glass was a very appreciated material in ancient Rome) and the sensation of instability caused by the inclined jar.
ANCIENT ROME RECIPE:
“Chicken salad with apple, pomegranate and beet”
– 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
– Salt and Pepper
– 1 Tablespoon orange zest plus ½ cup orange juice
– 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 Package cooked beets, thinly sliced
– 5 ounces baby arugula or mixed greens
– 2 apples, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
– 1 Cup pomegranate seeds
In a medium pot, combine chicken and enough water to cover by 1 inch; season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook chicken until cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Remove skin and bones and thinly slice.
Meanwhile, whisk together orange zest and juice, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange beets on a large platter.
Top with greens, chicken, apples and pomegranate seeds.
Drizzle with orange dressing.