Russian Beetroot Caviar

 This bright beetroot dip doesn’t contain salmon or any other fish raw. In my home-country vegetable spreads and dips that are mushed into a non-smooth consistency are often called caviar. In USSR fish caviar was an expensive product and most of the time was served over special occasions, but people have always wanted something tasty not only during holidays or weekend; and such vegetables as an eggplants, marrows and beetroots were cheap and available almost throughout the year, thus I guess economical version of the “caviar” was created.

russian-beetroot-caviar

 The recipe I found in a book dated 1990, it calls to boil beetroot, fry onions and press through the  meat-grinder machine along with other ingredients. Easy-peasy. It turned out so tasty, that i have already made it few times in a row! Moreover, it was a hit at the home-party, especially when I served this dip nicely decorated with little festive crackers; needless to say, guests asked for the recipe!
 The original Russian recipe calls for the salted pickled cucumbers, which are usually watery and personally I don’t like its taste, so I used regular crunchy pickled cucumbers and the beetroot dip was absolutely amazing and delicious! I prefer slightly coarse a caviar-like texture, so I don’t blend ingredients too much, but if you wish – just blitz it more to get the smooth dip. Enjoy!

Russian Beetroot Caviar

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients 
400g/2 medium-size beetroots
2 tps olive or sunflower oil, for frying
1/2 large brown onion
~100g pickled cucumbers
2 cloves of garlic
Salt&Pepper, to taste
Method 
  1. Boil beetroots until soft. Cool, clean and chop.
  2. Chop the onion and fry in a oil until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Finely chop cucumbers. Also finely chop or mush garlic.
  4. Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency.
  5. Check the seasoning. Serve with rye bread or crackers.
Enjoy!

Persimmon&Jamon Salad for Women’s Day

Today, March 8th, many people are celebrating International Women’s Day across the globe. Of course, each country have their own means of celebration, special traditions and demonstrations, gifts and food. In my home-country (Russia) this day even is a public holiday. It is also another good day/reason to call your mother, sister or a friend and say how much they mean to you, or celebrate a woman who has always inspired you. And why not to rise a glass for yourself? 😉Persimmon&jamon Salad

 This elegant salad can be served as a tasty fare for the Women’s Day. You need only few minutes literally to assemble and serve the salad. Salty dry-cured meat and tender persimmon slices go perfect together here. Impress your guests or and simply enjoy it yourself.ProsciuttoSalad with persimmonProsciuttoSalad with persimmon and pomegranate seeds

Salad with persimmon&jamon

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15min
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print
 Few shavings of parmesan or grana padano cheese make the salad only better.
Ingredients
4 thin slices jamon serrano (or prosciutto)
10-12 thin slices persimmon (from a quarter)
2-3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
200-300g small arugula leaves
2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
Dressing
2 tbsp EV olive oil
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
Preparation method
  1. Arrange 2 slices of jamon and 5-6 slices of persimmon on each plate. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
  2. Top with arugula leaves. Mix ingredients for the dressing, drizzle the salad and sprinkle with nuts.
Enjoy!
recipe found here (in Russian)

Beetroot dip with coriander crackers

 This is an extremely delicious beetroot dip that is super easy to prepare and is a crowd-pleaser. The bright beetroot dip can be made as a tasty and healthy appetizer for either home-parties or just your family, especially if you serve it with lots of homemade coriander crackers. Appetizer made from scratch adds a special touch to any kind of gathering. 🙂 It’s also a healthy snack anytime – just spread it over toasted bread, or use it as a wrap filling.
Beetroot dip
You can make the dip even without cheese, but I like it this way more. Also try to add feta or other soft white cheese instead of cream-cheese, walnuts is a another good substitute for pine nuts.
Beetroot dip with coriander crackers
 

Beetroot dip with coriander crackers

  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print
Keep covered in the fridge up to 3 days.
Beetroot dip
Ingredients
150g cooked beetroot (boiled or roasted), chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2-1 tsp cumin, crushed
1 tbsp EV olive oil
2 tbsp Philadelphia cheese
1 tbsp parmesan, finely grated, optional
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly roasted
sea salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Put all ingredients, except the pine nuts, in a small bowl of blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste, add pine nuts and pulse a couple of times to keep some nuts pieces; if you like more smooth-pulse again.
  • Garnish with pine nuts and some grated parmesan, if desired. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.
Coriander crackers {Make approx 18 crackers}
Ingredients
130g plain flour+some for kneading and rolling
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt (want less salty, add less salt)
some freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed or ground
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
40 ml EV olive oil
40 ml water+1/2 tsp white sugar
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, b.powder, salt and all spices. Mix in olive oil.
  • Dissolve sugar in water and pour into dough, knead the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and keep to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • On a lughtly dusted surface, roll the dough (approx 3-4 mm thick) and cut into 5×5 cm squares.
  • Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 190C oven for 15 minutes or until golden-brown.
  • Cool&Enjoy!

Oven fries and homemade potato seasoning

 Many of us like potato fries/chips, and I’m not an exception. 😀 Yes, I know that they are not healthy.. But if your diet is balanced and healthful most of the time, you can have one cheat day during a week or so. However, it’s certainly preferable to make your own homemade fries. And I mean roasted fries instead of those deep-fried and greasy. My secret to great and tasty fries is a special spice mix, that I prepare myself: for that you need to combine rosemary, turmeric, paprika and some other spices (look at the recipe below). This seasoning suits perfectly to both regular and sweet potatoes. Once tried, you might want to make a larger jar next time! 😉Oven roasted potato fries

 Enjoy your aromatic snack!

Oven fries and homemade potato seasoning

  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Oven roasted fries
Sweet or regular potatoes
Potato seasoning
Olive oil
  • Wash and peel potatoes. Cut them into slices (or wedges if you like), put in a large bowl of cold water. Soak for a 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  • Drain potatoes and pat dry on a kitchen towels (or use kitchen paper).
  • Put potatoes on a baking tray, generously sprinkle with potato seasoning and drizzle with a bit of oil. Spread into one layer.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. If you have a broiler – broil it for 6-7 minutes more.
  • Enjoy as is, or with your favourite sauce or as a side dish to chicken or meat.
Potato Seasoning
2-3 tsp dried rosemary (whole or crushed)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, crushed
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp coriander, crushed
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/3-1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2-1 tsp curry, optional
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground coarse black and white pepper, to taste
Happy cooking!

Eggplant wedges

Hey everyone! I came back from the holidays recently and slowly getting into blogging again. In my previous posts I shared with you some recipes using white and red currants, and you may think that I have had only berries during the summer time in Russia.. Yes I did! This summer has been bountiful: lots of amazing produce, including various berries – gooseberries, strawberries and currants, as well as vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, eggplants.

I’m so glad that I was able to enjoy amazing veggies and greens form my parents’ garden. We cooked many dishes using these vegetables, including zucchini oladushki (fritters), sauteed veggies, salads, and so on. Finally we get tired of cooking eggplants and zucchini the same way. Moreover, I missed Dubai with its seductive aromas and herbs, rich and spice flavours in the air.. Fortunately, I brought my favourite spice – zaatar, and the decision was found: to make eggplant wedges with a Middle Eastern note! It was an easy and quick way to prepare eggplants. I drizzled it with aromatic olive oil, sweet molasses and of course zaatar, then served with a slice of country-style bread, yogurt and sliced fresh tomatoes!Eggplant Wedges

Eggplant wedges

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
You can substitute pomegranate molasses with balsamic vinegar or any other pomegranate sauce.

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tsp zaatar mix spice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
pomegranate seeds
100g plain yogurt or sour cream for serving, optional
salt, pepper to taste
Preparation method
  1. Cut washed eggplants into 8-10 wedges. Sprinkle with some salt and leave for 20-30 minutes. Place under running water to wash off the salt. Arrange wedges onto lined baking tray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, molasses and zaatar. Brush eggplant wedges with this mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake in preheated 180C for 25 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 200C and bake for 20-30 minutes more, or until eggplants wedges are soft and nicely browned.
  4. Arrange eggplant wedges onto a serving plate, sprinkle with sesame and pomegranate seeds.
  5. Serve with yogurt on side, or pour it over warm wedges.

Enjoy!

Sharing with all bloggers at Fiesta Friday party!