Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tomato salad

Russian Cuisine: Tomato Salad

This recipe is great for a hot summer day, and even an inexperienced can easily prepare it. There is no cooking involved, and this salad works great with most raw detox, low GI, Zone and several other types of diets. It is merely two-three centuries old, because tomatoes was not known in Europe before the discovery of the New World. The recipe is very popular across the whole Russia from northern to the southern regions near Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. It is hard to say if it was borrowed from Mediterranean region or invented independently, but somewhat similar recipes are popular in Greece and Italy.

Ingredients for two

  • 4-6 tomatoes (on vine, Roma, or just any regular; medium size)
  • 2 slices of large yellow sweet onion in rings or cut to smaller pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
    (olive oil will work great too; sunflower, canola, corn oil will work too giving different flavors; try it with buckwheat oil if you can get it)
  • A half teaspoon of dried basil or the same amount of fresh one (optional, for Middle Asian variety)
  • Optional: 1-2 teaspoons of cut fresh dill
  • Salt (regular or sea salt) to taste
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of green onions cut in small pieces
  • Optional: ½ to 1/3 of a long cucumber.

Method

Cut tomatoes in 8 parts (three cuts, 12 if you used large tomatoes), don’t forget to remove dry parts near the graft. Mix in a medium bowl with the rest of ingredients except oil, salt, add oil, mix, let stand for a few minutes until it will give a juice (see photo). It’s ready to serve.

For a version popular in Middle Asia, add basil.

For tomato-cucumber version cut the cucumber of cubes (two cuts along the long side, then as many as necessary crosscuts) and mix it with tomatoes on the first step.

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