I just got back from a 16 day European Cruise which was full of history packed land excursions. We visited countries bordering the Baltic Sea and had the most wonderful cultural experience. I love visiting other countries! It is always a wonderful lesson in history, architecture, cultural diversity, and of course food.
We traveled to Amsterdam to board our ship and had the opportunity to stay a few days, then we traveled to Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallin, Stockholm, and lastly Copenhagen. First off the bread at every stop was crazy amazing! I mean I am not sure what the magic is but I've never tasted bread that taste what I imagine heaven must be like. The special foodie take away for me though was the beet dishes we had the opportunity to eat in St. Petersburg Russia. The borsch which is very traditional was amazing! Very smooth, not tart in any way. It was this darn beet salad though that sticks out in my mind as a star dish. My kids actually loved this salad and asked me to let them taste more and more until I finally had to stop them because there wasn't going to be any left for me. I couldn't believe how such a simple dish could be so inspiring! I have to tell you that it is hard to impress me. My palate is pretty sophisticated as you would expect for someone who has made a career in food and nutrition but it is always those simple dishes that impress me most.
The salad had very few ingredients which is what I strive for with Cooking in Bloom dishes, highlighting the true flavor of really fresh food. Beets are not something that is typically on an American table, I know this, but what better way to increase your families palate for food. Take a trip back to Russia with me in the comfort of your own kitchen. Russian Beet Salad Ingredients
2 medium beets
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (this imparts a nice umami flavor to beets)
A handful of walnuts
2-3 Tbsp sour cream or veganaise if you choose
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped rye bread, for serving
Boil beets in broth until they’re tender. Cool, peel and slice beets vertically in rounds then slice into little matchsticks. Roughly chop walnuts and dill. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Garnish with dill, if desire. Serve slightly warm with rye bread. I hope you enjoy this food adventure and try something you haven't before. Food is an inspiring way to do just that with your family!