[Sca-cooks] Greetings from the Incipient Shire of Tymberhavene inAnTir

Anne-Marie Rousseau dailleurs at liripipe.com
Sat Aug 11 07:21:09 PDT 2007

Hello from Anne-Marie (also in Antir :))

One of my favorite "foods that if you serve it to a modern person they'll go
"oo! Breakfast!" even if our medieval counterparts may not have eaten it as
such" (happy, Bear? ;)) is herbolade. There are several versions in the
medieval corpus...off the top of my head I think of the one from le menagier
but I'm pretty sure there's another one in one of the English sources (both
are medieval western European)

Its kinda a baked frittata thingie, with eggs, herbs and cheese.

One Herbolace Or Two of Eggs (Menagier de Paris, p. 274)

Take of dittany two leaves only, and of rue less than the half or naught,
for know that it is strong and bitter; of smallage, tansey, mint, and sage,
of each some four leaves or less, for each is strong; marjoram a little
more, fennel more, parsley more still, but of porray, beets, violet leaves,
spinach, lettuces and clary, as much of the one as of the others, until you
have two large handfuls.  Pick them over and wash them in cold water, then
dry them of all the water, and bray two heads of ginger, then put your
herbs into the mortar two or three times and bray them with the ginger. And 
then have sixteen eggs well beaten together, yolks and whites, and bray
and mix them in the mortar with the things abovesaid, then divide it in two
and make two thick omelettes, which you shall fry as followeth.  First you
shall heat your frying pan very well with oil, butter or such other fat as
you will, and when it is very hot all over and especially towards the
handle, mingle and spread your eggs over the pan and turn them often over
and over with a flat palette, then cast good grated cheese on the top, and
know that it is so done, because if you grate cheese with the herbs and
eggs, when you come to fry your omelette, the cheese at the bottom will
stick to the pan, and thus it befals with an egg omelette if you mix the
eggs with the cheese.  Wherefore you should first put the eggs in the pan,
and put the cheese on the top, and then cover the edges with eggs, and
otherwise it will cling to the pan.  And when your herbs be cooked in the
pan, cut your herbolace into a round or square and eat it not too hot nor
too cold.

My version (adapted for cooking over a campstove/cookfire and easy quick
prep) (all rights reserved, no publication without permission please):

Take a couple handfuls of herb salad greens (and/or bagged baby spinach) and
mince finely with a bit of fresh ginger. Mix with six eggs and beat until

Heat some olive oil in a large pan that has a lid (my cast iron dutch oven
works great for this). Dump in egg/herby goo. When set, you can flip it (or
if you're like me and forget, it will work just fine without flipping ;)).
Sprinkle grated cheese on top, replace the lid and remove from the heat. The
residual heat from the cast iron pot will melt the cheese nicely.

I've also been known to do a pseudo version of this in boiling
bags....sautee my greens etc in a bit of olive oil. Beat the eggs with the
grated cheese and seal all in a boiling bag. (don't do more than six eggs
per bag for ease of cooking through). Like the boyscout omelets :))

Hope this helps! This recipe is a big hit with people who "don't like
medieval food".

Good luck :)


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