A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Congur in Sawse

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Green Garlic Sauce for Fish


Take the congur and scald hym, and smyte hym in pecys, & seeth hym. Take persel, mynt, peletur, rosmarye, & a litul sawge, brede and salt, powdour fort, and a litel garlec, clowes a lite; take and grynd it wel. Drawe it vp with viyneger thurgh a cloth. Cast the fyssh in a vessel and do the sewe onoward, & serue it forth icold.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.


  • 2 pounds catfish, other fish, or conger eels
  • 1 C wine vinegar
  • 1 C fresh parsley
  • 1/2 C each fresh mint, rosemary, sage, or any other fresh green herbs
  • 1/2 C white bread crumbs
  • 5 cloves of garlic, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp hot mustard powder
  • 1/8 tsp each of cloves, mace, and powdered ginger
  • Salt to taste
1. In a large frying pan, over medium heat, bring to a boil enough water to cover the fish. Put the fish in, reduce heat, and simmer for about ten minutes or until the fish is tender. Remove the fish, and place it on a serving platter.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine all the remaining ingredients except the vinegar, and grind it all very fine.

3. Put the resultant green paste into a bowl, and blend in the vinegar. Serve with the fish.

Yields about one and a half cups of sauce. Serves four to six.


My family and friends described this sauce as "pesto with attitude". You may substitute any fish, and don't feel compelled to boil it. You may use whatever fresh green herbs are available. I substitute hot mustard powder for the pungent root pellitory.

Congur in Sawse is featured in Servise on a Fisshe Day

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

A Boke of Gode CookeryRecipes from A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

Congur in Sawse © 2000 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2000 James L. Matterer

A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

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