Recipes for the Lammas Sabbat

01
of 09

Recipes for the Pagan Beltane Sabbat

Happy Woman Standing Amidst Wheat Field Against Sky During Sunset
Lammas is the season of the early grain harvest. Janne Hilken / EyeEm / Getty Images

Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is the time of year when the gardens are in full bloom. From root vegetables to fresh herbs, so much of what you need is right there in your own back yard or at the local farmer's market. If you're one of our gluten-free Pagan readers, be sure to read about celebrating Lammas when you're on a gluten-free diet. Let's take advantage of the gifts of the garden, and cook up a feast to celebrate the first harvest at Lammas!

02
of 09

Barley Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup in a White Tureen
Top a bowl of barley mushroom soup with fresh croutons and chives. Jim Scherer / Getty Images

Barley is one of the grains honored in harvest folklore throughout history, especially around the Lammas sabbat. It's a filling sort of grain, and lends itself beautifully to a hearty soup, especially when you add wild mushrooms and other late summer goodies! You can either make this soup right before meal time, or get it started early in the day, and allow it to simmer for a few hours.

Ingredients

  • 5 C. vegetable broth
  • 1 C. barley, uncooked
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms (use morels or enoki for a woodsy flavor)
  • 1/2 C. onion, diced
  • 1/2 C. fresh carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 C. celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the vegetable broth to a low rolling boil on the stove and then reduce heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery, and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Add the barley and garlic, cover and simmer for another hour.

Add salt and pepper, seasoning to taste. Top with fresh croutons and chives, if you've got them handy.

Serve as a side dish at your Lammas celebration, accompanied by a nice soft chunk of buttered bread!

03
of 09

Make a Loaf of Lammas Bread

Four funny Bread Figures
Make a loaf of Lammas bread. Eising / Getty Images

Bread is the ultimate symbol of the Lammas season. After all, once the grain is harvested, it is milled and baked into bread, which is then consumed. It is the cycle of the harvest come full circle. The spirit of the grain god lives on through us in the eating of the bread. In many traditions, a loaf of special bread is baked in the shape of a man, to symbolize the god of the harvest. You can easily make a loaf of Lammas bread by using your favorite bread recipe - if you don't have one, it's okay to use a pre-made loaf of bread dough, found in the frozen food section in your grocery store. 

First, prepare your dough according to directions, and place it on a greased cookie sheet. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil, and place it on top of the dough. Place the tray in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise for several hours until it has at least doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, cut five slits in it, so you'll end up with a head, arms, and legs.

Shape the two lower sections into legs, the side sections into arms, and the top section into a head. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, at about 350 degrees, or until golden brown. After baking, remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Brush your bread man - or woman - with melted butter, sprinkle with herbs if you like, and use in your Lammas ritual.

 

04
of 09

Roasted Garlic Corn

RoastedCorn_1500.jpg
Roast your corn cobs, and jazz them up with garlic and seasonings. Image by Gary Conner/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Few crops embody the spirit of the harvest quite like corn. For centuries, the corn cob has been a staple part of every harvest season meal. However, instead of just plopping it in some boiling water and slapping a bit of butter on it, why not make your corn a bit more savory by roasting it over an open fire?

Ingredients

  • Unshucked corn cobs
  • A pot of water
  • Butter
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika

Directions

Soak the corn cobs in the pot of water—leave the husk on—and let them sit for an hour or two. This will make the corn cobs nice and moist.

Put the wet corn cobs, still in their husks, on a grill. If you're lucky enough to be using a campfire, drop them into the white coals on the edge of the fire ring. Turn the corn cobs once in a while, and let them cook for about half an hour. You'll know they're done when the husk is dry and slightly burnt.

Remove the corn cobs from the grill and let them sit for a few minutes to cool a little. Don't let them get cold. Peel the husk all the way back and use it for a handle, or use wooden skewer sticks. Brush the cob with butter, and sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.

05
of 09

Make a Pot of Colcannon

Colcannon potato mash in cream faceted bowl with metal spoon
Diana Miller / Getty Images

Although Colcannon is traditionally eaten for St. Patrick's Day in March, the use of fresh potatoes and cabbage makes it a perfect harvest meal. You can eliminate the bacon for a vegetarian option. Serve up a pot of Colcannon for your Lughnasadh celebrations!

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs potatoes, washed and peeled
  • 1 small head cabbage, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks butter (use the real thing, not margarine)
  • 1 1/2 C. cream or milk
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and diced
  • 4 leeks, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Steam the potatoes until they are soft, and then drain and rinse. Place them back in the pot and mash thoroughly, so you remove all the lumpy bits. Gradually add one stick butter, in small pieces, stirring into the potatoes so that it melts. Add the milk in and mix.

While you're working with the potatoes, boil the cabbage. Some people like to use the potato water, and that's fine. Once it's soft, about 8 minutes, drain and add into the potatoes.

Add the second stick of butter—again, put it in using small pieces so that it melts and coats all the cabbage.

Add bacon and leeks. Simmer for about half and hour, and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hearty bread.

06
of 09

Fresh Basil Pesto

Preparing basil pesto with mortar
Westend61 / Getty Images

Basil represents protection and love, so why not whip up a batch of magical pesto? Around Lammas time, your basil plants will be in full glorious bloom. Harvest fresh leaves from your garden, add a bit of oil, and serve it over pasta, on top of a burger, or just eat it with a spoon!

Ingredients

  • 8 Cups fresh basil, washed and packed
  • 1 C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 C olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbs, lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Put all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Mix until all the basil leaves are finely chopped. Serve pesto ladled over pasta, or as a dip for cheese and crackers. It makes a great burger topping as well, especially if you combine it with a bit of mayonnaise for easy spreading. This recipe makes about two cups, and will last up to a week in your refrigerator—if you don't eat it all before then!

07
of 09

Lunastain Cakes

Frybread
Make a batch of fried bread for Lammas. Image by Brian Yarvin/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

In parts of the British Isles, the Lammas festival, or Lughnasadh, was celebrated with the baking of a cake made from the first harvested grains. While today we don’t typically harvest our own wheat, oats, barley or corn – unless you’re hardy enough to be a farmer – we can still take advantage of this tradition and bake one of these seasonal goodies, which were called Lunastain cakes. It takes its name from the Scottish word from Lammastide, lunastain.

Keep in mind that although the word “cake” conjures up images of sweet baked goods, originally it was used to mean any baked item made from grains, so your Lunastain cake can be either sweet or savory, depending on your preference. In other words, it can be similar to a traditional sweet cake, or it can be more bread-like. The choice is up to you.

Typically, the Lunastain cake was made from oats, and was called a bannock. Much like the bannocks that were served around Beltane, it was baked and then fried or toasted, and sometimes topped with freshly churned cream butter. However, the recipes vary from one region to the next, because the ingredients and methods were based upon what was handy and available.       

The recipe below skips the baking step altogether and just goes straight into a skillet for frying. This will give you four to six cakes, depending on how large you make them.

If you’re eating gluten-free, you can use a combination of gluten-free baking flour and oats, and a bit of flaxseed meal to give your cakes a nice oatey taste without worries about unpleasant side effects. Obviously, if you don’t have to concern yourself with gluten, you can still use this recipe, and enjoy it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 C. all purpose baking flour
  • 1/2 C. oats
  • 1/2 C. golden flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 C. butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 C. cold water (you may need a little bit more or less, so add it gradually and use your best judgment)
  • oil for frying 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all of your dry ingredients together and mix well. Add in the butter – it helps if you have a pastry blender, but it’s not required. Finally, mix in the water, blending until you have a thick, stuff dough. Roll it into a ball, and allow your dough to sit in the fridge for half an hour or so. Although you don’t necessarily have to do this, and can probably skip it if you’re in a hurry, it does help to keep the dough from separating when you’re frying it.

Heat your oil in a fry pan – if you’ve got cast iron, use it, because the result can be amazing. Divide your dough into equal portions – I typically get around six from this recipe, but you can make them smaller or larger – and roll them out in flour to flatten them. Don’t make them too thin, or they’ll end up crispier rather than soft. Mine are usually around half an inch thick.

Once your oil is hot, add a cake into the skillet – it’s best to just do them one at a time and add additional oil as you go. Fry it until it’s golden brown on the bottom, and then flip it over to do the other side. You may notice it gets a little puffy in places – that’s okay! After your cakes are cooked on both sides, remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel to cool.

Serve these with your Lammas harvest feast. You can top them with fresh basil pesto, or just spread with a bit of sweet cream butter. You can also dunk them in Barley Mushroom Soup, or serve them up as a side for Colcannon – the possibilities are endless!

08
of 09

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler
Blackberries are often in season around Lammas. Image by Ron Bailey/E+/Getty Images

At Lammas, blackberries are ripe and ready for picking. Go out and gather a bucketful and make a delicious blackberry cobbler for your summer celebrations!

Ingredients

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/3 C stick butter, softened
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 C fresh blackberries
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 C boiling water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, baking powder, milk and salt. Blend until creamy, and spread into a greased 12 x 8" baking pan.

Pour blackberries over batter, and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Pour boiling water over the top, and then bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with fresh cream.

09
of 09

Butter Fried Chicken

Close-Up Of Chicken Meat Being Cooked On Pan
Butter fried chicken is easy and delicious!. Antonio Krmer / EyeEm / Getty Images

At Lammas, summer is beginning to draw to a close. In many rural communities, this was a time when flocks and herds were brought in from the fields and pastures. Sheep and cattle were brought down from the summer grazing areas and kept closer to home as the days began to grow shorter. Much like the grains in the field, livestock were often harvested at this time.

This simple recipe for chicken is one that can be prepared just about anywhere, and it only takes a few moments. Whip a pan of butter fried chicken together and serve it up for your late summer celebrations!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 C fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 small chopped onion

Directions

Put half the chicken breasts in a zipper-style sandwich bag and seal the bag. Use a rolling pin to flatten the chicken down so that it's thin. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Dip the flattened chicken breasts in the milk and then coat with the flour mix.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan, and add onions. When the onions are translucent, add the chicken.

Cook for five minutes on the first side, or until golden brown. Flip the chicken breasts over, sprinkle the parsley on top, and then allow it to cook for another ten minutes or so.

Serve with your favorite bread and a big summer salad.