On hot summer days, the appetite for hot dishes is usually reduced so it’s just the right time for making cold dishes. First place in this category goes to the salads.

Salads are made of chopped fresh or cooked vegetables and coated with a variety of dressings. Salads can be had as appetizers, main dishes and even desserts. A good example of an appetizer salad is a Korean style carrot salad which has become one of most beloved by the Russian people in recent years. The pleasant crunch of carrots, the sharpness of vinegar dressing and the aroma of the herbal spices give you an appetite for the main dish. Appetizer salads are also made from stewed and then chilled vegetables, for example, eggplant salad which is especially good with a strong alcoholic drink.

High-calorie meat or fish salads can be used as main dishes. An example of this salad is “Herring under a fur coat” which is made from finely chopped brined herring, boiled beets, and other vegetables put on a plate in layers, with each layer coated with mayonnaise. Another example of a nutritious salad is “Olivier” made from pieces of meat, boiled potatoes and other vegetables, dressed with mayonnaise.

For dessert, a salad can be made from fresh fruit. Typically, a few different fruits are cut into pieces and coated with sweet fruit yogurt.

In the heat, a bowl of cold soup can be especially pleasant. However, not all soups can be eaten cold. An example of the traditional Russian cold soup is okroshka which is made the same way as meat salad, but filled with kvass or plain liquid yogurt (kefir). In Ukraine, the most popular cold soup is beetroot soup which is first boiled and then cooled. I wish you a nice cool lunch on a hot summer day!