Ye Olde Deviled Eggs


Stuffed eggs, are ancient treats. Possibly served in the best parties without pants in ancient Rome, as well as the best parties where finger foods are licked off of dainty fingers today.

Modern ‘Deviled Eggs’ are simple and bland compared to earlier versions. Here herbs and tang are combined, sometimes with dried fruit, for a flavorful morsel.

The herbs and oil in each of the 3 recipes take away the dry texture of the yolks and make this a simple dish fit for a King.

13th Century: Savoury Devilled

Take as many eggs as you like, and boil them whole in hot water; put them in cold water and split them in half with a thread. Take the yolks aside and pound cilantro and put in onion juice, peper and coriander, and beat all this together with Murri, and oil and salt until it forms a dough. Then stuff the whites with this and fasten it together, insert a small stick into each egg, and sprinkle them with pepper.” An Anonymous Andalusian cookbook of the 13th century, translated from the original Arabic by Charles Perry found in A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Recipes edited by David Freeman and Elizabeth Cook.


  • 8 Eggs, hard boiled, shelled
  •  1 tsp cilantro,
  • 2 tsp onion juice, (one whole onion creamed in food processor than strained will give you about 2 tsp of onion juice)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (murri),
  • 3 tsp olive oil,
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper

1. Cut each egg in half (thread works best for this job). Remove yolks, placing them in food processor. Set egg whites aside on a platter.

2. Add cilantro, onion juice, fish sauce, oli oil, and salt to eggs and blend well.

3. Put spoonfuls of egg yolk mixture into egg white halves, garnish with pepper.

15th Century: Cheese and Raisin stuffed eggs

Make fresh eggs hard by cooking for a long time. Then, when the shells are removed, cut the eggs through the middle so that the whole white is not damaged. When the yolks are removed, pound part with raisins and good cheese, some fresh, some aged. Reserve part to color the mixture, and also add a little finely cut parsley, marjoram, and mint. Some put in two or more egg whites with spices. When the whites of the eggs have been stuffed with this mixture and closed, fry them over a slow fire in oil. When they have been fried, add a sauce made from the rest of the egg yolks pounded with raisins and moistened with verijuice and must. Put in ginger cloves, and cinnamon and heat them a little while with the eggs themselves. This has more harm than good in it. “ Eggs stuffed with cheese, raisins, & herbs – Original recipes from De honesta voluptate:


  • 8 eggs, hard boiled, shells removed
  • 4 tbsp soft cheese
  • 2 tbsp small raisins or dried currants
  • 4 tbsp combination of sweet herbs like parsley, marjoram, and mint finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1) Cut each egg in half (A thread works best for this). Put yolks aside in a bowl. Arrange whites on a platter.

2) Add cheese, fruit, herbs and spices to yolk, combine until it makes a batter.

3) Put spoonfuls of yolk mixture to each egg white half to serve. The original calls for re-heating mixture and making a sauce. I think it makes the eggs rubbery, but please experiment.

17th Century: Farced Eggs

Eggs farced. Take sorrell, alone if you will, or with other herbs, was and swing them, then mince them very small, and put between two dishes with fresh butter or passe them in the panne; after they are passed, soak and season them; after your farce is sod, take some hard eggs, cut them into halfs, a crosse, or in length, and take out the yolks, and mince them with your farce, and after all is well mixed, stew them over the fire, and put to it a little nutmeg, and served garnished with the whites of your eggs which you may make brown in the pan with brown butter.” François Pierre La Varenne, Le Cuisinier françois (1651) at translation found


  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of fresh bitter herbs (i.e. green onion, sorrel, dandelion, savoury, chicory, borage, etc) chopped
  • Dash of nutmeg

1) Cut peeled eggs in half (cutting with a string works best), and place the yolks into a mixing bowl. Set aside the egg whites on a platter.

2) Heat pan on medium. Melt butter than sauté herbs until wilted.

3) Reduce heat on pan to low. Add the yolks, to the hot herb mixture stirring well, until mixture thickens and forms a dough like texture.

4) Spoon herb mixture into the egg white halves, and serve warm or cold.

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