I tend to think of salads as a relatively modern ‘invention’ and as a child loathed the mere mention of the idea floppy lettuce. However a fresh salad of lively greens is actually something that Anne Boleyn would have been very familiar with. And while Tudor salads often consisted of a boiled vegetable such as onions, carrots or turnips served with their green tops they could have just as easily been fresh lettuces & herbs.
Have a look at an authentic tudor salad, or "sallets" as they said. Recipe below:
‘ First then to speak of Sallets, there be some simple, some compounded, some only to furnish out the Table and some both for use and adornation’ and served simply dressed with ‘ a little Vinegar, Sallet Oyl and sugar.”
- ‘The English Huswife’ 1615
1 bag of baby spinach leaves, washed & well drained
Candied walnuts ( see our separate recipe for this )
1 red apple
1 egg yolk
1 cup Shaved Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp Pink peppercorns
1 cup raw apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup walnut oil ( or olive )
1 tsp sea salt
for the pickled apples
pack thinly spiced apples into a jar or bowl and cover with vinegar and 2 tbsp peppercorns. set aside covered and refrigerated for 2-24 hours.
for the dressing
remove the apples and set aside from the reserved vinegar. in a blender or blitzer add vinegar, egg and salt. add in 1/2 cup of the oil and blend on high for 20 seconds until combined.
for the salad
Place the spinach in a frying pan with the remaining oil & toss just until the about 1/2 of the leaves wilt leaving some in full tact. Place on a serving plate.
Add pickled apple slices, candied walnuts & Parmesan shavings to taste.
Generously drizzle with dressing, and finally sprinkle with the remaining pink peppercorns.