375 Years of Food at Harvard: Grand Sallet


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.

Written and researched by Kristin Kessel,, Adams House
Photo used under Creative Commons license from Slice of Chic
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One Response to 375 Years of Food at Harvard: Grand Sallet

  1. Pingback: Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Dart « Fyrefly's Book Blog

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