Crispy Yeast, Stuffed Potatoes, Beet Garlic: Olia Hercules Recipes for Ukrainian Winter Vegetable Sides | Food and drink from Eastern Europe

Fermentation salad

Less recipe than assembly job, this winter salad includes store-bought fermentation. It is inspired by the traditional way we serve kraut and other vegetable yeasts in Ukraine in winter: with unrefined essential sunflower oil and thinly sliced ​​onions.

to equip 10 minutes
soak 15 minutes
serves 4

100 ml of apple cider vinegar
1 small dried cranberry or barberry
300 grams of sauerkraut
(or beetroot charlotte)
200 grams of pickled salted cucumber
1 fennel
trimmed and cut into thin slices
2 celery stickscut into thin slices
2 applescored but not peeled, thinly sliced
½ small leek of banana Or ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of unrefined sunflower oilor 1 tablespoon of sesame oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of neutral oil

Heat the vinegar with 100ml of water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, immediately add the berries, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, but don’t throw away the liquid — it can be used in salad dressings or as a marinade for other things; Thin slices of red onion come to mind.

Mix fermented and fresh vegetables and apples, add onions and berries, then arrange on a plate and sprinkle with oil. Serve with anything rich and sweet: roasted bird, ham, or roasted pumpkin.

Beetroot in walnut and garlic paste

I found a copy of this recipe in an old book by Hutsul Cooking, huts are Ukrainian highlanders, but this type of dough is also very popular throughout Georgia, where it is called pkhali. You can roast the beetroot, but I’m back to blanching it until it’s just tender; There is a tenderness to the poached beetroot that tempers the power of the garlic nut paste.

to equip 10 minutes
cook 40 minutes
serves 4

6 medium beetroots
150 g of walnuts
or any kind of nuts or seeds you have
2-4 cloves of garlic (to taste)
3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
½ tablespoon of honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Large handfuls of watercress or steamed greens
to serve

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the beetroot and cook for about 40 minutes, until tender. Drain and, once cool, peel and cut into slices.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C) / 390°F / gas 6. Spread the nuts on a baking tray and place in the oven for eight minutes, until completely toasted; Small seeds like sunflower or pumpkin take about five minutes. They are finished when they are golden and taste delicious.

Pound the garlic with a pinch of sea salt in a mortar or spice grinder, then work it into a paste. Add two-thirds of the roasted nuts, and then grind again. Gradually add vinegar and honey. Finally, mix the oil to get the nut paste.

Put the cooked chopped beetroot into the nut paste and taste it, adjusting it with salt, vinegar or honey as necessary. Chop the reserved walnuts and sprinkle them on top, then serve on a bed of greens like watercress or sorrel.

Potatoes stuffed with mushrooms and feta cheese

This is an old fashioned recipe. In Ukraine, minced meat is mixed with mushrooms, but I think this works just as well without the meat. You can boil the potatoes the day before, keep them in the refrigerator, then stuff and roast them the next day.

to equip 25 minutes
cook 50 minutes
serves 4

4 medium waxy potatoes
300 grams of portobello mushrooms or chestnuts
15 grams of dried wild mushrooms (my choice)
3 tablespoons of olive oil or butterplus more to finish
1 medium onionpeeled and finely chopped, or 1 shallot, deveined and finely chopped
sea ​​salt and pepper
2 fats
Garlic clovesPeeled and finely chopped or grated
50-100g of feta cheesefrozen to facilitate her grating
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
½ small bunch of fresh dill

Place the whole potatoes in a pot of cold salted water, bring to a simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes (depending on their size), until they are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Grate fresh mushrooms on the coarse side of a grater. Pound dry mushrooms into a fine powder in a spice grinder (this will bring up a flavorful consistency).

To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and a pinch of salt, and sauté until they begin to brown. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook over medium heat for five minutes, then add the mushroom powder if using. If at any point the mixture looks dry, remove the gloss with a little water. Cook for another five minutes, then add fresh cream and dill. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (Fan 200°C) / 425°F / Gas 7. Drain the potatoes and let them cool. Cut a piece of cheese from one side to make it stable in the tin. Make a well in the top of each one by scooping out approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of the flesh. This could go to tomorrow’s bubble and squeak.

Place 1/4 of the filling in the well in each potato, transfer to a baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast for 20 minutes, or until brown on the bottom and sides. You may want to cover the mushroom filling with a small piece of aluminum foil so it doesn’t dry out.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and grate the feta cheese well. Serve with some simple kraut or the fermented salad above. Being Ukrainian, I like to serve it with a bowl of fresh cream on the side.

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