Posted by: internationalroutier | July 14, 2010

Raw Salads and Gerard’s Herball

posted by Glenda

While looking for inspiration re lunchtime greenery for Winter Camp I happened upon my saved copy of Cindy Renfrew’s Culinary Gleanings from John Gerard’s Great Herball or General Historie of Plantes. The Herball was first published in 1597, and Cindy took her culinary excerpts from the enlarged and amended 1633 edition.

The 17th century books of receipts tend to show only the Grand Sallats – the epitome of the Salad, and, because everyone knew what to do, ignore the simple general ingredient lists. This is a simplified list containing the ingredients we may be able to get our hands on, and some where a dressing is specified.

the root hereof is also in our age serued to the table raw for a sallade herbe

the middle pulpe whereon the downy seed stands, are eaten both raw with pepper and salt

The first sprouts or naked tender shoots hereof be oftentimes sodden in flesh broth and eaten, or boyled in faire water, and seasoned with oyle, vineger, salt, and pepper, then are serued at mens tables for a salad

The greater red Beet or Roman Beet, boyled and eaten with oyle, vineger and pepper, is a most excellent and delicate salad

Those of our time do vse the floures in sallads, to exhilerate and make the mind glad

The young buds or little floures preserued in pickle, and eaten as a salad

They are eaten boiled (the salt first washed off) with oile and vineger, as other sallads be

The leaues of sweet Cheruill are exceeding good, wholesome, and pleasant, among other sallad herbs, giuing the taste of Anise seed vnto the rest… The seeds eaten as a sallad whilest hey are yet greene, with oyle, vineger, and pepper, exceed all other sallads by many degrees, both in pleasantnesse of taste, sweetnesse of smell, and wholsomnesse for the cold and feeble stomacke.

The roots are likewise most excellent in a sallad, if they be boyled and after dressed as the cunning Cooke knoweth how better than my selfe: notwithstanding I doe vse to eate them with oile and vineger, being first boyled; which is very good for old people that are dull and without courage; it reioyceth and comforteth the heart, and increaseth their lust and strength.

Citrull Cucumber
The meat or pulpe of Cucumer Citrull which is next vnto the bark is eaten raw

It is eaten with other sallade hearbes, as Tarragon and Rocket

Goats Rue
The herbe itselfe is eaten, being boiled with flesh, as we vse to eate Cabbage and other woorts, and likewise in sallades, with oile, vineger and pepper, as we do eate boiled Spinage, and such like

The young and tender leaues eaten raw in a sallad

The buds or first sprouts which come forth in the Spring are vsed to be eaten in salads

Lambs Lettuce & Corn Sallad
In Winter and in the first moneths of the Spring it serues for a sallad herbe, and is with pleasure eaten with vineger, salt and oile, as other sallads be

Lettuce maketh a pleasant sallad, being eaten raw with vineger, oyle, and a little salt

The fruit of the three grain Medlar [Mespilus Aronia], is eaten both raw and boiled

Musk Rose
The leaues of the floures eaten in the morning, in manner of a sallad, with oile, vineger and pepper

There is also another small kinde of Onion, called… Scallions… It is vsed to be eaten in salads

Rawe Purslane is much vsed in sallades, with oile, salt, and vinegar

Radish are eaten raw with bread in stead of other food

The leaues and buds or young shoots of the first [Rhamnus Clusii flo. albo], are eaten as sallads with oile, vineger, and salt

The roots are especially vsed in sallads, being boiled and eaten with oile, vinegar, and pepper.

Rocket is a good sallet herbe, if it be eaten with Lettuce, Purslane, and such cold herbes

The leaues kept in pickle, and eaten in sallads with oile and vineger

They be eaten boiled, with vineger, salt, and a little oile, after the manner of a sallad

It is vsed in sallades when it is young and tender. This herbe of all other pot-herbes and sallade herbes maketh the greatest diuersitie of meates and sallades.

The bulbous or knobbed root, which is properly called Rapum or Turnep… is many times eaten raw, especially of the poore people in Wales

Tarragon is hot and drie in the third degree, and not to be eaten alone in sallades, but ioyned with other herbes, as Lettuce, Purslain, and such like

White Endive
vsed in sallades all the winter

And while I was hunting around, I happened upon a very early tomato sauce recipe:

Poma Amoris. Apples of Loue. In Spaine and those hot Regions they vse to eat the Apples prepared and boiled with pepper, salt, and oile: but they yeeld very little nourishment to the bodie, and the same nought and corrupt. Likewise they doe eat the Apples with oile, vineger and pepper mixed together for sauce to their meate, euen as we in these cold Countries doe Mustard.


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