Recipes from Roman Britain

So, lately I’ve been on a food and herb kick. I thought I’d share a couple recipes that I’ve come across to whet your appetite for my two upcoming posts of research papers on Florentine herbal recipes and Greco-Roman beverages 🙂

Recipes from Roman Britain

roman feast

Pear Patina

Serves 4 •1½ lb firm pears. •10fl oz red wine.
•2 oz raisins. •4 oz honey. •1 tspn ground cumin. •1 tbspn olive oil.
•2 tbspn fish sauce. •4 eggs. •plenty of freshly ground black
pepper. Peel and core the pears and cook in the wine, honey and
raisins until tender. Strain and process the fruit and return to
the cooking liquor. Add the cumin, oil and fish sauce and the eggs
well beaten. Pour into a greased shallow dish and bake in a
preheated oven (375º F) for 20 mins or until set. Let the custard
stand for 10 mins before serving warm.


Serves 2 •10 oz ricotta cheese. •1 egg. •2½ oz plain flour.
•Runny honey. Beat the cheese with the egg and add the sieved
flour very slowly and gently. Flour your hands and pat mixture
into a ball and place it on a bay leaf on a baking tray. Place in
moderate oven (400ºF) until set and slightly risen. Place cake on
serving plate and score the top with a cross. our plenty of runny
honey over the cross and serve immediately.

Stuffed Kidneys

Serves 4 •8 lambs kidneys. •2 heaped tsp fennel seed (dry roasted in pan).
•1 heaped tsp wholepepper corns. •4 oz pine nuts. •1 large handful fresh
coriander. •2 tbspn olive oil. •2 tbspn fish sauce. •4 oz pigs caul or large
sausage skins. Skin the kidney, split in half and remove the fat
and fibres. In a mortar, pound the fennel seed with the pepper to a
coarse powder. Add this to a food processor with the pine nuts. Add
the washed and chopped coriander and process to a uniform
consistency. Divide the mixture into 8 and place in the centre of
each kidney and close them up. If you have caul use it to wrap the
kidneys up to prevent the stuffing coming out. Similarly stuff the
kidney inside the sausage skin. Heat the oil and seal the kidneys
in a frying pan. Transfer to an oven dish and add the fish sauce.
Finish cooking in a medium oven. Serve as a starter or light snack
with crusty bread and a little of the juice.

*About the author of these recipes – Sally Grainger is co-author of The Classical
Cookbook, published by British Museum Press.

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