Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Medieval Babe

The middle ages into the Renaissance is one of my favorite historical periods. Periodically I make forays into the food, music or art of the time. I decided to revisit the food tonight and looked for a spring inspired recipe. It might surprise people to find out that salads were popular.
Try this:
A Salat
Serves 6

Salads, made mainly of herbs, were popular throughout the Middle Ages,
often served at the start of a meal, rather than after the main course.
The make up of the salad would change according to the season and what
grew in the cook's herb garden, so feel free to adapt this basic recipe
as desired. Do NOT make it with dried herbs!

2 bunches of watercress
2 cartons of mustard and cress
1medium leek, very finely sliced
6 spring onions or scallions, chopped small
1 bulb of fennel, slicked in thin match-sticks
1 large handful of fresh parsley, pull off into small sprigs
the leaves from 1 young sprig of fresh rosemary
the leaves from 4-6 prigs of fresh mint, slightly chopped
6 fresh sage leaves, slightly copped
the leaves from 2 small branches of thyme
a few leaves from any other herb you have (take care not to use too
much of any very strong flavoured ones)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons wine vinegar
4-5 tablespoons olive oil

Wash the cresses, herbs and fennel and dry all thoroughly. Mix them,
with the leek and spring onions, in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and
pepper, and mix again. Mix the oil with the vinegar and pour over the
salad just before serving.

For your listening pleasure while you dine, the Mediaeval Baebes, "Delirium" with a bit of a modern twist thrown in.

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