Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An homage to Mother Russia...

My mother may have been born in East Germany, and my dad in Canada, but Russia is my homeland. And if we are being technical my Grandfather was born in the Pale/the Pale of Settlement - aka. was Russia, now Southern Ukraine - for those not up on their geographical and ethnic histories for Mennonites and Ashkenazi Jews. Regardless I was raised with a deep appreciation for dill, beets and potatoes amongst other specialties, surprisingly my only childhood experience with Sauerkraut was seeing it prepared.

Being that it's dill season and we buy heaps of it (freezes really well), and I had beets - the following appeared. A two fold note on beets - don't fuss with gloves and all that just peel then and wash your hands - they'll be a little rosey but it doesn't last that long, like 3-4 washing and it will all be gone. And just so you don't worry - beets come through your system with the same lovely red color - so no you aren't dying...

6 beets - peeled and halved - adjust more or less depending on how many it is serving. Another note - beets must be peeled - unlike other root veggies there is something about the peel that can impart an nasty dirt flavour to the beet.
6 nugget potatoes, boiled and sliced - bought a mix from Superstore of Yukon, Purple and White - but a substitution of a large Yukon would work too
1/2 red onion diced
1/2 cucumber sliced
1T to 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1tsp to 2T chopped fresh mint
2T chopped fresh chives - optional
1 large can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
salt, pepper, canola and apple cider vinegar to taste

Roast or boil the beets until they are softer - they'll still be firm, but they'll give a little - about 20-30 minutes at 400. Add to warm sliced potatoes and the remaining ingredients - add a splash of canola (approx 2 tsp) and 2T vinegar - I like my salads with lots of vinegar, but that's your choice, and season to taste.

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