You can see through this recipe the origins of the common salad, originally brought to England from Italy, by returning Crusaders.

A Salat
Recipe type: Salads and Dressings
Serves: 1 servings
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 2 containers mustard and cress, medium leaf, very finely sliced
  • 6 spring onions or scallions, chopped small
  • 1 bulb of fennel, sliced in thin matchsticks
  • 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 chopped
  • the leaves from 2 small branches of thyme
  • 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
  • 3 Tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  1. 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. Wash the cresses, herbs and fennel and dry all thoroughly. Mix them, with the leek and spring onions, in a large bowl, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and mix again. Mix the oil with the vinegar and pour over the salad just before serving.
The British Museum Cookbook by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson

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