Victoria Shparber of Bethlehem's Black Forest Deli treated us to some Russian favorites.
Venegret (beet salad)
2 medium size potatoes (red, white, yellow, whichever you have on hand)
1 small onion
2-3 pickles chopped
1 cup of peas
1. Boil Beets until tender. This will take over an hour (close to 1 1/2 hours for me), so start well in advance. Once the beets are done, drain immediately and soak in cold water. This will make peeling the beets 1000 times easier. You’ll be able to take the skin off with your fingers. You can also do this a day in advance to save time.
2. Peel the potatoes and carrots and boil until tender (I boil them together to save time). Be careful not to overcook the potatoes because then you’ll have mashed potatoes with beets (which isn’t such a bad idea either, now that I think about it)
3. Chop onion and pickles into small pieces. I do this while the potatoes and carrots are cooking.
4. Add peas. (canned works or frozen)
5. When the potatoes and carrots are done, chop them into small cubed pieces. Same for beets.
6. Combine everything in a bowl, add oil, garnish w fresh dill and enjoy!
Real Crab Meat or Imitation Crab
Corn (canned works)
Boiled Eggs (3)
Garlic (2 cloves)
Directions: Chop the crab meat into pieces, add some canned corn, chop parsley finely, add chopped boiled eggs, put the garlic thru the garlic press and add that to the mixture. Add finely chopped scallions..
DRESSING: mix mayo with olive oil, lemon juice - add to the crab salad and mix well.. Add salt and pepper.
Kashk - E - Bademjan (persian style eggplant dip)
2 large eggplants
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 -5 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1/2 cup sour cream / kashk (can be found in a middle eastern store)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper & tumeric
Peel the eggplant, Slice the eggplants thin lengthwise into 5 or 6 pieces each.
Baste in olive oil on both sides.
Fry in oil until until golden brown.
Chop the onion and garlic cloves, and fry in a pan with olive oil.
Remove eggplants, add to onion/garlic mix. Season with salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Add water and let simmer for 30 minutes.
In a smaller pan, fry the mint in oil. Drizzle or spoon over the eggplant as garnish. Add chopped walnuts (optional). Drizzle the kashk or sour cream over the eggplant mixture.
Eat with fresh pita