Barony of Terra Pomaria • Recipe Collection from Riverfront Demo
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Recipe Collection from Riverfront Demo

Buttered Wortes

‘Take al maner of good herbes that thou may gete, and do bi hem as is forsaid; putte hem on the fire with faire water; put thereto clariefied buttur a grete quantite. Whan thei ben boyled ynough, salt hem; late none otemele come therein. Dise brede small in disshes, and power on the wortes, and serve hem forth.’ From ‘Recipes from Two 15th Century Cookery Books’
Thomas Austin 1888, reprint 1964

“Wortes”, not warts, was a broad term used for any number of leafy greens such as beet or mustard greens, borage, parsley, nettles, leeks, etc… This recipe is a simple and tasty way to prepare a healthy side dish to accompany a variety of other dishes. The original recipe calls for oatmeal as a thickener, but this is unnecessary. If a thickener is desired, a puree of peas is recommended for modern diners.

2-3 lbs leafy greens (whatever you have),
2-3 leeks, sliced into rings (discard root & green tops)
2 tbsp (or more) butter, melted
4-6 slices bread, diced and lightly toasted

Blanch greens and leeks in a large pot of boiling water 3-4 minutes – no longer. Drain in a colander, pressing excess water out with the back of a spoon or potato masher. Coarsely cut greens with a sharp knife. Place into a serving dish and toss melted butter into the greens until evenly distributed. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and ‘serve it forth’.


‘Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh, and kerve it on peces, and cast hym on boillyng water and seep it wele. Take chese and grate it, and butter imelte, caste bynethen and aboven as losyns; and serve forthe.’

From ‘Forme of Cury’, 14th Century

This recipe is an adaptation of an early – and delicious – version of an American favorite: macaroni and cheese. It appears to have been a favorite dish in England at least 700 years ago (judging by the number of cookery books including it), although their noodles were not tubular as we are accustomed to. The very word ‘macaroni’ comes from the original shape of the noodles – long, straight lines ‘macron’.

1 lb broad noodles (try making them yourself for more authenticity. You may also use prepared pasta ‘sheets’ available at some grocers. If you use packaged lasagna noodles, I prefer the ‘no boil’ type, as their shape is more appropriate).
1/2 Cup or more grated cheese (white cheddar, Parmesan, or jack cheese will be most authentic. If you are really ambitious, fresh, homemade ricotta or farmers cheese or both is especially good!)
2 tbsp butter (or more)
1/4 Cup milk or half & half
Freshly ground nutmeg to taste

Boil noodles in lightly salted water until tender. In a buttered, ovenproof serving dish layer half the noodles, half the cheese, the other half of the noodles and the remainder of the cheese. Pour liquid evenly over the top and cover. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until all cheese is melted and most liquid has been absorbed. Let stand for about 10 minutes and ‘serve it forth’.

Gourd soup

‘Gourdes in Potage ‘take young gowrdes, pare hem, and kerve hem on pecys. Cast hem in gode broth and do therto a good partye of oynnonns minced. Take pork sodden. Grynde it, and alye it therwith and with yolkes of ayren. Do thereto saffron and salt and messe it forth with powder-douce.

From ‘To the King’s Taste’ Lorna J. Sass; Metropolitan
Museum of Art, 1975

According to Garard, “ There are divers sorts of Gourds, some wilde, others tame of the garden: some bearing fruit like unto a bottle; others long, bigger at the end, keeping no certain form or fashion; some greater, others lesse.” Assuming Gerard’s “Gourds” were a wide variety of squashes, some of which were brought to the new world from European gardens, I’m certain this recipe would have applied all the edible squashes from acorn to butternut to zucchini! I have used all of these as well as several others. All are delicious!

2 lg. zucchini
or 1 small pumpkin
or 1 lg. butternut
or other of your choosing
½ lb ground pork
½ tsp salt
2 lg. Onions, minced
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
6 Cups chicken broth (I often exclude the pork and substitute vegetable broth for an excellent vegetarian version!)
½ tsp or more fresh, minced ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch saffron
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh, minced parsley

Peel and cut squash into small cubes. Brown pork with salt in pan. Set aside. Sauté onions in butter until lightly browned. Stir squash into onion and butter and sauté 5 min. or so. Add broth, spices, sugar and parsley. Simmer until squash is tender. Serve hot.

Turnips Baked with Cheese

‘Rapum Armatum‘ Cut up boiled or roasted turnips; do the same with rich chese, not to ripe but make the cheese in smaller pieces. In a pan greased with butter or other fat, make a layer of cheese first, then turnips, repeat, purring in spice and butter. It should be quickly cooked. Platina VIII (condensed from a very long recipe)

FromPleyne Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cookes
C.B. Hieatt, B. Hosinton, S. Butler; University of Toronto Press, 1996

Turnips are one of the foods that modern folk inevitably associate with the diet of the medieval peasant. Despite the fact that they are available in our modern grocery stores, surprisingly few contemporary folk have actually eaten them. If you’re one of those who have always been afraid to try them, here is a great way to give them a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised!

2 lb turnips
12 oz. mild cheddar or Swiss cheese
4 tbsp butter melted
Spices to taste: Allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper

Peel turnips until just tender. Don’t overcook! Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow these to cool while you grate the cheese. Slice cooled turnips. In a heavily buttered casserole dish, layer turnips and cheese and spices, ending with butter and spices. Bake long enough to thoroughly melt the cheeses (about 20 min.). Serve hot.

Enjoy more recipes in the PDF!