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Tolkien Cooking: Mr. Bungo Baggins’ Over the Hill and Across the Water Salad

“Mr. Bungo Baggins’s Over the Hill and Across the Water Salad” by Astrid Tuttle Winegar


As promised, here is a healthy salad for Bombur. A nice short post this time, with relatively few ingredients—perfect for summertime!

I’m imagining that Bilbo’s father liked to dabble in gardening and specialized in salad creations, so I’m naming this for him. Bungo built Bag-End for his lovely bride Belladonna Took…and very little is otherwise known about him. In Letter 214, Professor Tolkien mentions that Bungo became “‘head’ of the family of ‘Baggins of Hobbiton'” at the ripe age of 70, but he died rather prematurely at age 80 (prematurely for hobbits, that is); his mother Laura Baggins (née Grubb) apparently didn’t want to surrender her position too soon. It’s a little reminiscent of the current situation in England with the queen, perhaps…

Mr. Bungo Baggins’s Over the Hill and Across the Water Salad


5-6 cups light green lettuce, torn into large pieces (such as Bibb, Boston, Butter, or living lettuce)
2 ounces lightly toasted sliced almonds
½ cup dried cherries
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled into small bits
1 cup celery, cut diagonally into ¼” slices
¼ cup almond oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon good-quality mayonnaise
½ teaspoon “Shire Seasoning” ***
¼ teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, almonds, cherries, cheese, and celery. In a shaker jar with a tight lid, combine the remaining ingredients and shake well. Adjust seasonings, if desired. Pour over the greens and toss. Serve immediately. You can make the dressing in advance and mix your greens, but don’t toss together until right before serving because these types of lettuce are fragile. Not recommended as leftovers. Serves 4.

*** Follow this link to my other blog for the recipe, Savory Seasoning, or use Morton’s Nature’s Seasons as a substitute.

This recipe is known as Ellen’s Favorite Salad in my cookbook.

Astrid Tuttle Winegar


Astrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings and Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is currently available in e-book form on the Amazon Kindle, but will soon be released by Oloris Publishing! Stay tuned for details. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. Her blog can be found at You can check out (and like!) her Facebook page at or visit her Twitter feed at

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