A grand sallet, or a great salad, is a traditional Elizabethan dish that, despite the four hundred or so year time gap, is not wildly different from a salad you might make in the dining hall or order off a menu today. A grand sallet consists of many of the ingredients that we find in modern salads: leafy greens, an assortment of herbs, hardboiled eggs, almonds, and capers. Yet a unique feature of a grand sallet is its abundance of dried fruits: figs, raisins, candied cherries, dried currants, dried orange peel, and dates, just to name a few of many possible toppings. Noticeably missing from an Elizabethan sallet are tomatoes and peppers, which are often considered staples of a salad today. And though the ingredient list of a grand sallet may seem long, its dressing is markedly less involved, requiring nothing more complicated than wine or sherry vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of pepper, and a dash of salt.Typically served at supper rather than dinner (which we now refer to as dinner and lunch, respectively), a grand sallet such as the one described was featured on Harvard’s dining menu in the mid-1600s.
- The Food Literacy Project (at Harvard University Dining Services) cultivates an understanding of food from the ground up. Education focuses on four integrated areas of food and society: agriculture, nutrition, food preparation and community. Ultimately, the project goal is to promote enduring knowledge, enabling consumers to make informed food choices.
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