On hot summer days we prefer light, refreshing appetizers, drinks and, of course, salads. Salads as we know them now appeared in Russian cuisine only in the middle of the 19th century. Marinated and pickled vegetables were accompanied by fresh vegetable appetizers with a dressing. Before that, only meat dishes were served with a dressing.
Since Soviet times to present days salads have been an independent dish because they are very nutritious. Meat, fish, eggs, grains such as rice served as main ingredients. Mayonnaise and sour cream were used for dressing. These dishes were cooked on holidays and had a special place on a festive table. Not a single New Year dinner can be imagined without such Russian classic salads as Olivier, Mimosa, and Herring in Fur Coat.
Nowadays Russian summer salads are becoming similar to the ones of Mediterranean cuisine, which are noted for a rich variety of dressings, and vegetable oil based sauces. During summer period we tend to use seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage. Besides, salads made of root vegetables are popular in Russian families. The most common combinations include apples and carrots, carrots and celery root, cucumbers and turnips or radishes.
We would like to remind you of a forgotten root vegetable which used to be an integral part of the daily diet of Russian people long before the potatoes. Turnip is extremely beneficial for health. It contains several times more vitamin C than oranges. For this reason turnips served as a remedy for colds and scurvy in Russ. Turnip was boiled, baked in the oven, mashed and added to the soups. Here we present an easy-to-cook light turnip salad from traditional ingredients with an original dressing.
1 Tbsp. of honey
First mix olive oil, honey, a bit of apple or sherry vinegar, orange zest and juice of half a lemon. Then add ground pepper and chili pepper for piquant taste. Leave the dressing while chopping other ingredients.
If turnip is bitter, blanch it quickly and slice thinly. Cut red onion into half rings. Combine turnip, onion, spinach, cilantro and parsley or any other greens you have in your fridge.
Toss the dressing right before serving, garnish with cut in half cherry tomatoes.
This salad will surprise your loved ones. It is fast and easy to cook, and is rich in vitamins.
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