Salat

Salad

Source: This recipe taken from Forme of Curye, ab. 1390 A.D. (Pages 40v & 41r). The images below are from the original manuscript as digitized by the John Rylands University Library and the 1780 printing edited by Samuel Pegge.

 
Salat Salat  Salat
Salat
Original Recipe:

Salat

Take parsel, sawge, garlec, chybollus, oynons, lek, borage, myntes, porrettes, fenels and towne cressis rewe rosmarye, purslary, lauen and waische hem clene pyke hem  pluk hem small wiþ þyne hond and mynge hem wel wiþ rawe oyle. lay on vyneger and salt and surve hem forth.

My Translation:

Salad

Take parsley, sage, garlic, chives, onions, leek, borage, mint, scallion, fennel and nasturtium, rue, rosemary, purslane, rinse and wash them clean pick them pluck them small with thine hand and mingle them well with raw oil lay on vinegar and salt and serve them forth.

My Interpretation:

1 pound spring mix
1 package chives
1 package mixed fresh herbs
*(parsley, sage, and rosemary)
1 leek (greens)
1 fennel (greens)
1 package fresh mint
1 package edible flowers
*if available
1 scallion
1 small onion or shallots
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
½  tsp. kosher salt

Rinse and pat dry spring mix and herbs. Pick tender greens from herbs (discard woody stems and pieces) and add to spring mix. Thinly slice greens of leek, fennel, scallion, onion, and scallion and add to spring mix. Gently toss greens with olive oil and salt. Just before serving, dress with vinegar.

Notes on the Recipe:

This recipe specifies a number of potherbs and aromatics that were common in gardens in England during the 14th century, the ingredients I listed are easily available in most American grocery stores today.

Unlike modern salads where the dressing of olive oil and vinegar is mixed before placing on the greens, the greens in this recipe are tossed with the olive oil first. I have found that this technique allows the greens to stay crisper longer as the olive oil provides a barrier against the vinegar, which increases the amount of time significantly that it takes for the vinegar to wilt the greens.

Notes on the Transcription & Translation:

The original text and transcription preserve the shorthand of writing that was common practice in the late 14th century. I have taken the liberty of spelling each word fully in my transcription for clarity.

The following words I chose to define based on information in both the Middle-English Dictionary and a Modern Dictionary:

chybollus - chibolle - small onion - chives

porrettes - sort of leek - scallion

towne cressis - town cresse - nasturtium

lauen - wash; pour out a stream - rinse

References:

Media Information. Digital image. Salat. The John Rylands University Library, Jan. 2009. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <http://enriqueta.man.ac.uk/luna/servlet/detail/Man4MedievalVC~4~4~4092~100090:Makke?sort=Reference_Number%2CImage_Sequence_Number%2CPage%2CImage_Title>.This is a digitized image of page 40v of the Forme of Cury housed at The John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England. This codex, written on vellum, dates from the late 14th century.

Pegge, Samuel, ed. Forme of Cury London: Society of Antiquaries, 1780. The Forme of Cury. Greg Lindahl. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/.

Pegge, Samuel. The Forme of Cury. London: J. Nichols, 1780. Google Books. 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 June 2012. <http://books.google.com/books?id=L1JAAAAAYAAJ>.

Pegge, Samuel, ed. The Forme of Cury The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Forme of Cury, by Samuel Pegge. Project Gutenberg, May 2005. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8102/pg8102.html. This is the transcription of Forme of Cury of the Samuel Pegge edition originally published in 1780.

Stratmann, Francis Henry, and Henry Bradley. A Middle-english Dictionary Containing Words Used by English Writers from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1891. Print.
Available at http://books.google.com/books?id=4rIVAAAAYAAJ