Verde Sawse

Green Sauce

Source: This recipe taken from Forme of Curye, ab. 1390 A.D. (Page 67v). The images below are from the original manuscript as digitized by the John Rylands University Library and the 1780 printing edited by Samuel Pegge.

Original Recipe:

Verde Sawse

Take parsel. mynte. garlek. a litul serpelf & sauge, a litul canel. ȝinȝur. peper. wyne. brede. vyneger and salt grynd hit smal wit safron & messe hit forth.

My Translation:

Green Sauce

Take parsley, mint, garlic, thyme, sage, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, wine, bread, vinegar and salt grind it small with saffron and mess it forth.

My Interpretation:

Soak bread crumbs in vinegar and wine, let set for at least 30 minutes. Remove all woody bits from herbs. Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth.

Notes on the Recipe:

For small batches, a package of mixed herbs works well to replace parsley, thyme and sage.

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.

Serpell refers to serpillum. According to William Turner "Serpillum that is in gardens is called in the most part in England creeping thyme".


Media Information. Digital image. Verde Sawse. The John Rylands University Library, Jan. 2009. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>.This is a digitized image of page 67v 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.

Pegge, Samuel. The Forme of Cury. London: J. Nichols, 1780. Google Books. 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 June 2012. <>.

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. This is the transcription of Forme of Cury of the Samuel Pegge edition originally published in 1780.

Turner, William. A New Herball. Vol. 2. N.p.: Cambridge UP, 1996. Google Books. Web. 19 June 2012. <>.A New Herball. This was the first extensive work on Botany written English and was truly the groundbreaking work that earned William Turner the reputation of being “The Father of English Botany”. It was published in three parts: the first part in 1551, the second in 1562, and the third part posthumously in 1568.