Take parcely, Mintes, Betany, Peleter, and grinde hem smale; And take faire brede, and stepe hit in vinegre, and drawe it thorgħ a streynour, and cast thereto pouder of peper, salt, and serue it fortħ.
[Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks, Cookery Book II, Harleian MS.4016, c1450 A.D.]
Take Parsley, Mint, Betony, Pellitory, and grind them small; And take fair bread, and steep it in vinegar, and draw it through a strainer, and cast into it powder of pepper, salt, and serve it forth.
1 Bunch Parsley
Leaves from 4 stems Mint
Betony Tea Pellitory
2 Slices (Crust removed) Bread
About 2 Tbsp Vinegar (Apple Cider)
Place two slices of Bread in a bowl and add just enough Vinegar to soak Bread. (About 2 Tbsp) Make a cup of Tea. Cut the stalks off of the Parsley below where the leaves start. Place Parsley in a Blender. Remove the leaves from the stalks of the Mint and add the Mint leaves to the blender. Start blending the Parsley and Mint. Slowly add just enough Tea to create a smooth mixture in the blender. (About 1/3 Cup) Strain mixture into a bowl. Salt and Pepper to taste.
I took “faire brede” to mean a not strongly flavored bread. I used generic white sandwich bread. The recipe did not specify what type of Vinegar. I chose Apple Cider Vinegar since it isn’t quite as strong as White Vinegar.
Two ingredients are not available at the local MegaMart. Betony and Pellitory. Betony is from the Mint family and has a flavor similar to Black Tea. It was commonly grown in the gardens of monasteries and apothecaries and used to treat ailments such as arthritis and gout. Pellitory belongs to the order of Nettles and has a weak cucumber flavor. It was known for its anesthetic qualities and was commonly used to sooth toothaches.
To approximate the flavor of Betony, I brewed a cup of Tea and infused it into the mixture. Since Pellitory has a weak cucumber flavor, I omitted it since I figured that it would not stand up to the flavor of the Parsley, Mint, and Vinegar.
Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks, Cookery Book II, Harleian MS.4016, c1450 A.D., Editor, Thomas Austin