I’ve got few home grown zucchini in Nová Baňa and 2 of them were white. It’s actually interesting because I have been trying to find white zucchini (so common in my native Odessa) for last 5 years of my life in Slovakia but all my attempts were unsuccessful. Nová Baňa managed to surprised my once again.
I cook a lot of dishes with zucchini, both green and white. It is nice, when it’s stewed with sour cream, chicken and dill or like a filling for a cake. Zucchini pancakes are nice dish for late summer morning. I used chickpea flour for this recipe, but you can substitute it with white all purpose flour.
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It was very hot here in Slovakia during last 2 weeks so to be honest I didn’t cook a lot. It was hot even in Nová Baňa last weekend but it didn’t stop me from cooking one of the most famous summer dishes from Odessa cuisine: grilled eggplants, peppers and tomatoes spread. This recipe has obviously Greek or Bulgarian roots, but both Greek and Bulgarians were quite influential in summer Ukrainian region so it’s no wonder that a lot of dishes I often cook have South European or Middle East origin.
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Can I officially claim this year “the year of the products I’ve never tried before”? Here is another prove of this fact: my traditional Saturday visit to the farm market in Zilinska street brought me a large bunch of colourful Swiss chard. The lady, who sells it names chard “Croatian spinach” and tells that it can be cooked like ordinary spinach. If you are from Bratislava and also visit the market in Zilinska, you know this seller for sure. It’s famous Cilka from Zohor, area to the North from Bratislava which is reach in culinary traditions. She names chard “Croatian spinach” and tells that it can be cooked like ordinary spinach. It makes a nice side dish together with potatoes. Of course I’ve made a short research of Swiss chard recipes and here is my own version of potatoes with chard.
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The main event of July (not just for me but for all Slovakia I assume) was Pohoda musical festival. I’ve never taken part in summer open air activities and was quite nervous if my inner introvert survives in a crowd of 35000. Well, I shouldn’t have been nervous as the festival was unexpectedly cool: really good organized, with plenty of workshops, master classes and great music, of course. Food courts were also great with all possible types of dishes: from fresh coconuts to traditional Slovak langos (fried dough with different toppings like cheese or garlic) or from absolutely great pastrami (it was my first pastrami and I totally liked it) to chia pudding. I finally tried the famous Slovak codfish salad tapped into hot dog bun. It tasted ridiculously good despite the fact that I have prejudice to mayo salads. Well, once in a while 🙂
On one of festival days my breakfast was chia pudding made by Lunter company ( the biggest Slovak producers or tofu and vegetarians spreads like hummus or “fake codfish salad”. Btw, it makes Slovakia special, where else can you try codfish salad hot dog or fake codfish salad made from soya beans?
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Last Thursday I invited guests to late dinner and my plan was to cook something quick and impressive (and worthy to be shared here, lol). It didn’t take too long to make a choice, because I had pickled artichokes and freshly bought package of quinoa that was on sale in Tesco. I can also proudly say that this whole recipe was created by myself: it’s quinoa warm salad with pickled artichoke hearts, shallots and tomatoes. It’s really quick to cook if you already have pickled artichokes, but this quickness didn’t save me from being late as I had some urgent work to do, so I started too late and guests came when salad was cooling. And… Do you also say to your friends “wait a moment, I have to make a picture first and then we can eat?” Well, my friends are already used to it.
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This week was very hot in Bratislava so the idea to spend a weekend in a country house in Nová Baňa sounded as a good idea. It was hot even there so my choice for the Saturday dinner was obvious: I cooked a cold beetroot soup.
If you ask me what is the taste of south Ukrainian summer, I will place this soup (it has very cute name in the region where I grew up “cholodnichok”) right after famous Mikado tomatoes. It’s also interesting because you can find all 3 staples of Ukrainian cuisine in this recipe: beet, dill and sour cream. Someone call this soup “cold borsht”. Every year I waited for the beginning of summer and my mom can finally cook it. It’s a super dish for hot summer days when you don’t want to eat too much but you also don’t want to feel hunger in an hour after you had lunch.
Continue reading “Greetings from Nová Baňa: cold beetroot soup recipe”
Artichokes were always something mysterious to me. They were either painted on my favourite classical still lifes by old Dutch masters or appeared in the recipes of famous food bloggers I follow on the Instagram. I tried them pickled on the top of pizza, but I always wanted to try them fresh. Artichokes are neither usual in my native Odessa (and I can’t understand why, the climate there is close to North Mediterranean now) nor in Bratislava. However Tesco gave me another surprise and last week I found Violetto artichokes among vegetables right under a box with rhubarb. The price was high enough, so I bought just some. Of course they were not so fresh, beautiful and fragrant as those at Italian or French farm markets, but ok, it’s still nice that I can expand my cooking horizons.
Continue reading “Artichokes heart and cherry tomato salad”