- Oct 29, 2013
Apicius doesn't have much to say about fresh salad, does he?
"Herbae Rusticae: Liquamine oleo aceto a manu"
Of course the exact "rustic herbs" would depend upon what was available, individual preferences etc. but also, as I understand it (at least for the well heeled) upon the purported warming and cooling effects of the various herbs and vegetables. The purported warming effect of rocket and cooling effect of lettuce are well known (so a well balanced salad plate might include some of both), but does anyone have a list which includes the purported warming and cooling effects of other herbs and vegetables?
For example, celtnet has this modern interpretation:
80g rocket (arugula) leaves
12 young dandelion leaves, shredded
1 tbsp fish sauce (liquamen)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
which certainly sounds reasonable (aside from shredding the dandelion leaves), but is it historically plausible w.r.t. warming and cooling effects, aiding digestion etc?
Something else I am considering, although a bit of a stretch, is to use a much-multiplied recipe of the stuffing I used earlier for steamed stuffed sardines (or bonito in Sally's translation). This at least has the virtue of being based on an actual list of ingredients from an Apician recipe: "Pennyroyal is pounded with grains of pepper, mint, hazelnuts, honey... flavored with oil, caroenum and allec". As before I would use mint and oregano instead of pennyroyal, I would certainly reduce somewhat the peppercorns to prevent overseasoning (but throw in a pinch of cumin), and I would probably just use salt instead of allec. But again... would this kind of spiced herb puree be historically plausible as a starter?
Bah. I'll probably just serve 'em radicchio leaves with honey and vinegar.
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