Sauce Verte

Take parsley, mints, betony, pellitory, and grind them small; And take fair bread and steep it in vinegar, and draw it through strainer, and cast thereto powder of pepper, salt and serve it forth.

serves 3

4 tablespoon fresh parsley and mint finely chopped

piece of bread


1 tablespoon vinegar

(or white wine for substitute to vinegar and water)

pepper and salt

Chop and grind the herbs as well as possible. Put a piece of bread to a bowl and add 1 T vinegar and enough water to make the bread wet. Let it stand about 10 minutes and add more water if needed. When the bread is mush pass the mush through the strainer to a pot and add herbs. Season it with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar or water. And boil very briefly.

Comments: Pellitory and Betany can’t be found in our local grocery. I suggest that you use other herbs like sage or just parsley and mint. I have made a little mistake with the sauce. It is little bit too dry. Adding more vinegar is not a good choice because it could turn unedible. But because some ”sauce verte” recipes (like in Liber cure cocurum) tells you that you can add vinegar or wine, you could add vine to it or water perhaps. The sauce is little bit too grainy too. Ah well live and learn!

I like by the way this sauce with salmon because of the sour vinegar taste.

Pellitory (Anacyclus pyrethrum) in Finnish “Raimikki” looks little bit like chamomile. It grows naturally in Mediterranean countries for example Spain. Or if can also mean Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis) or the False Pellitory of Spain (Peucedanum ostruthium). Harvey (Medieval Gardens) says nothing about Anacyclus pyrethrum. But it says that in the list of Alexander Neckam compiled at the end of 10th century Pellitory in the list means either Pellitory of the wall or the False Pellitory of Spain. I have to look deeper into it to know which one it is that they had in gardens in 15th century Britain.

Betany (Stachys officinalis) in Finnish Rohtopähkämö has purple flowers. It has been cultivated in Finland. I don’t know how popular it is these days. It was already native in Britain before Roman invasion.


Medieval Cookery
J.Harvey, Medieval Gardens, 1981, ISBN 0713423951

(Take a thousand eggs or more, II Volume, Harleian MS. 4016, c. 1450)

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