Main Menu - Misc. - Clothing/Textiles - Medieval Wales - Names - Other Medieval - Publications - Harpy Publications

This page last modified October 16, 2005

Cooking from Anthimus

(return to main Anthimus page)

Turnips and Pasternaks (Parsnips, Carrots)

recipe interpretations by Heather Rose Jones, copyright 2005

Anthimus mentions turnips in one paragraph, noting that they can be boiled in oil and salt or cooked with meat or bacon and flavored with vinegar. In the next paragraph, he discusses pastinacea which can mean anything in the parsnip/carrot family, and notes that they can be eated boiled or parboiled and then fried and are good mixed into other dishes.

Because they are discussed with relatively parallel terms, and because he specifically suggests mixing the pasternaks into other dishes, several f my experiments have involved a mixture of all three varieties mentioned above. This creates a nice visual variety as well as a wider range of tastes.

Experiment #1


peel and slice about 1/8th inch thick.

cut into 1" pieces.

Put both into a saucepan with water to just barely cover. Simmer until the turnips are tender. Drain and mash. (I added no additional salt or oil, assuming that enough of both would come from the bacon.) Add:

2 Tbsp. vinegar


Mildly tasty. Definitely use no more vinegar than this. Perhaps it could use a little more salt. Perhaps using more bacon (or ham) with a higher meat/fat ratio would help. The meat needs to be chopped finer, I think. All in all, fairly bland, but it would make a good side dish with more strongly flavored dishes.

Experiment #2

This is a version I made for a potluck. I don't include specific amounts, but there are some relative amounts.

Take equal quantities of:

Parboil the vegetables until fork-tender and drain.


into small pieces. Use about one slice for every cup of cooked vegetables. Fry the bacon over a medium heat until cooked, but don't drain the grease. Add the cooked vegetables and stir constantly while they fry for several minutes. (The parsnips will tend to stick and brown easily; the others will only brown slightly.) Take off the heat and sprinkle with

Stir again, then serve.


This was quite delicious and I've made it several times since.

Collegium Version

Although the dish is much more delicious with bacon, the logistics of cooking for a large number of random people meant that I chose to make vegetarian versions of the dishes except for the two that specifically included meat. So, following Anthimus' suggestion, I dressed them with (olive) oil and salt instead.

Peel and dice:

For the 50-person version:

For a 4-6 person batch:

For the larger version, parboil each type of vegetable individually until tender. (Cooking them separately enables you to control for slightly different cooking times.) For the smaller version cook all together. Drain.

In a frying pan (or actually a wok works perfectly for this), heat


Stir as they cook over a medium-high heat until slightly browned. (They vegetables need to be well drained to brown, otherwise they just tend to become mush.) Sprinkle with:

This dish can be kept warm in a covered dish in a 200 F oven very successfully.


This site belongs to Heather Rose Jones. Contact me regarding anything beyond personal, individual use of this material.

Unless otherwise noted, all contents are copyright by Heather Rose Jones, all rights reserved.