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Recipe for
Mixtura cum Caseo
(Soft Cheese with Herb Purée)

by Columella De Re Rustica

There are several recipes for puréed herbs and cheese with nuts or sesame seeds. They make excellent dips for vegetables or spreads for bread. Of all the recipes in this book, they are perhaps among the most accessible for the modern reader, being not far removed from the herb pâtés on Supermarket shelves today. Do not be afraid to adjust the quantities, which are in any case fairly vague as it is. If you cannot procure one of the herbs, do not worry: the overall flavor will be the same.

Original recipe:

Translation: Put into a mortar Savory, mint, Roux, coriander, parsley, leeks (or, if leeks are unobtainable, green onion) , lettuce leaves, rocket leaves green thyme or catnip, and also green Pennyroyal and fresh and salted cheese. Pound all these together and blend in a little peppered vinegar. When this mixture has been arranged in a bowl, pour olive oil over it.

Ingredients for Mixtura cum Caseo


  • 1 leek
  • 100 g/3 oz feta cheese
  • 100g/3oz cheddar cheese
  • 2 or 3 mint leaves
  • 1 small lettuce
  • A handful of rocket leaves
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • A sprig each of rue, thyme and pennyroyal
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Finely slice the leek and steam until tender
  • Once they are cooked, place in a food-processor.
  • Clean the lettuce and add to the leek, along with the herbs, cheese, pepper and vinegar.
  • Process in the processor until all this becomes a fine, uniform paste.
  • Taste and add salt and more vinegar if desired
  • Place the purée in a bowl and garnish with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Serve with warm bread.
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