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A Medieval Coat of Arms Salad Recipe


In French cuisine a “salad composée” refers to a salad in which an assortment of ingredients are arranged aesthetically on a plate.  During the Middle Ages it was not uncommon to form a coat of arms with edibles. — Maite Gomez-Réjon.

Adapted from the ArtBites tour of the J.Paul Getty Musuem.


For the vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

For the salad:

  • 6 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 3 bunches parsley
  • 6 cups beets
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 3 cups dried prunes
  • 3 cups dried figs
  • 2 cups dates


For the vinaigrette: 

Whisk together lemon juice, zest, sugar, salt and pepper to taste until the sugar is dissolved.  Then, in a slow steady stream, whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

For the salad:

Separately toss the cabbage, radicchio, beets and apples with the dressing.

Artistically arrange the dressed elements of the salad with the dried fruit and nuts so that repetitive patterns of color and shape please the eye or so that a coat of arms is formed… have fun and be creative!


Click here to see the Eating Through the Ages: A Museum and Culinary Tour story.