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
- Boil beetroots until soft. Cool, clean and chop.
- Chop the onion and fry in a oil until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
- Finely chop cucumbers. Also finely chop or mush garlic.
- Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency.
- Check the seasoning. Serve with rye bread or crackers.
- Boil 2l water in a large pan. Add cubed vegetables and some salt. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer about 15 minutes.
- Wash millet throughly under running water. You may also cover millet with some warm water, it helps to cook it faster.
- Add millet to the pot along with bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes more or until it’s cooked.
- Meanwhile, slice or chop onion, and cut pork belly into thin slices or chop it as you like. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute onion until it’s soft. Add pork belly and fry for few minutes.
- Stir the onion-pork mixture into the soup. Adjust the seasoning.
- Pour the soup into serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with bread.
Barley and Vegetables salad
- Arrange barley and all other ingredients on a large serving plate.
- In a small jar combine dressing ingredients, shake well and pour over salad.
Fish with spiced lentil ragout
- Rinse and drain lentils. Put in a saucepan with rosemary, cover with water (do not season) and bring to boil on a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add extra water if all absorbed, or drain some if there is any left.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a small frying pan, add onion and carrot and saute for 6-7 minutes until soft and golden. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and saute for a minute more. Stir in chopped tomato and puree. Turn off the heat.
- Discard rosemary form lentils. While lentils are still warm season with salt and pepper, then mix in lemon zest and vegetable mixture; give it a good stir.
- Drizzle fish with lime juice, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle skin side with breadcrumbs and flour. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry skin-side down for 2 minutes, then turn and fry for 1-3 minutes more (depends on fish thickness), until golden and cooked.
- Arrange lentil ragout on a serving plate, top with fennel and fish fillet, drizzle with lime juice. Garnish with fennel (or parsley) and lime wedges.