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Recipe for:
(Garlic and herb Pâté)

from Virgil II.IV

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Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens

Here is an ancient recipe from Virgil. And as ancient as it is, it was added here form one book, like many... no, I did not do the deed.

AFAIK, this recipe comes from Grant and was inserted by original site author (have I not said to buy these author's books? Please do so and support them.... Hopefully, will not get a nasty letter about this)...

with his right he first
The reeking garlic with the pestle breaks,
Then everything he equally doth rub
I !" th !" mingled juice. His hand in circles move:
Till by degrees they one by one do lose
Their proper powers, and out of many comes
A single colour, not entirely green
Because the milky fragments this forbid,
Nor showing white as from the milk because
That colour !"s altered by so many herbs.

from The Moretum, Appendix Virgiliana II.IV

Original recipe:


  • 4 bulbs of garlic (Lucius Sallustius Plautus says that this is WAY too much garlic and will blow out people's taste buds -- he used 4 cloves and it was truly excellent)
  • 200g/7oz feta cheese
  • 3 celery stalks
  • A large bunch of fresh coriander leaves
  • a small bunch of fresh rue leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt


  • Break the garlic up into cloves and spread these out on a baking tray and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the cloves over a few times to ensure even cooking.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes and then squeeze out the garlic flesh from the skins.
  • Roughly chop the celery, cheese and herbs and put them in a blender with the garlic and blend until smooth.
  • Add the wine vinegar and olive oil and blend.
  • Serve as an accompaniment.
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