Classic Vinaigrette or Let’s Remember the Basics

Creating new recipes is an exciting and even magical experience. Am I going to like it? Did I write all the measurements precisely? Is it going to look pretty? When I create a new recipe, I feel that I have a newborn on my hands, and I want to share my joy with everyone. J However, sometimes it is just as much fun to give new life to an old recipe as it is to create a new one. For example, Slavic cooking traditions have a great number of amazing recipes that have simply been forgotten. The world demands creativity, even though sometimes there is no need to create a bicycle all over again.

That is why today, folks, we are going to make a simple salad that is well known and warmly welcomed in many homes of Slavic families. This salad is full of vitamins and probiotics, and can be served as the main dish: Classic Vinaigrette!

Just like many other dishes, Vinaigrette can be created in a few different ways. My recipe today is going to satisfy both those who carefully select what they eat to keep their weight under control and those who just want to have it all. The difference between the two versions is one simple ingredient: potato. If you feel like skipping it, your version of the salad is going to be lighter. Do not be afraid to have it for dinner; it is not going to affect your waistline. What I usually do is chop all the ingredients except the potatoes first, and then separate the choppings into two different batches, leaving one batch without potatoes (for myself) and adding potatoes to the second batch for my husband to enjoy. Both parties are happy!

Now, about the ingredients; the one I want to mention first of all is the savory pickle. Yep, pickles are essential here as they add sourness to the dish and make it more remarkable. Pickles also play an important role as probiotics. Probiotic foods contain live and active bacterial cultures, the most valuable role of which is to improve your gut health. A healthy gut is a essential thing in your overall wellbeing so it is important to use every chance you have to improve your flora naturally. I have no problem snacking on some pickles just by themselves, and I find they really enhance the taste of the salad.

One more ingredient that I want to mention today is onion. Yes, nothing magical—just an onion that you definitely have in your pantry. What is so special about it? Well, as cold and flu season has begun, it is a good idea to start helping your immune system reject viruses rather than fight them. Onions contain vitamin C, which is important for virus resistance. Surprisingly, onions also contain polyphenols, phytochemicals that play an important role in preventing and reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. So having an onion in the Vinaigrette makes this salad even more beneficial.

Okay, let’s make the salad you are about to love! Of course, the main ingredients are highlighted; feel free to substitute others.

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Classic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

2 large beetroots, washed, unpeeled

4 medium carrots, washed, unpeeled

1 large white onion

1 can (14.3 oz.) of sweet peas

1 jar (33.8 oz.) of dill pickles

1 large Russet potato

Pink Himalayan salt

Sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread out beetroots, carrots, and potatoes on a baking tray and place the tray in the oven.
  3. Cook the vegetables for 1 hour or until ready (poke the vegetables with a fork to determine readiness).
  4. While the vegetables are being cooked, chop the pickles into small, even pieces.
  5. Chop the onion and add to the pickles.
  6. Drain the liquid out of the can of sweet peas and add the peas to the pickles and onion.
  7. When the vegetables in the oven are ready, let them cool off to room temperature.
  8. Peel the vegetables, chop the beets and carrots, and add to the rest.
  9. Separate your chopped ingredients into two different parts, one a little larger than the other.
  10. Add chopped potato to one part.
  11. Mix the two salads separately and store covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
  12. When you are ready to enjoy it, simply add salt and sesame oil and mix well.

 

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I make this salad in large batches because we like it so much and usually finish it pretty quickly. Originally in this recipe, a boiling cooking technique was used, but baking preserves vitamins in the ingredients while boiling removes them. So I prefer this method, even though it takes a little longer for the vegetables to be ready. Try the mixture at any point to adjust to taste. I like it savory, which is why I often add more pickles than required. Do not add oil to the whole batch because it will become soggy later in the fridge. Feel free to double the ingredients to supply your family with the Classic Vinaigrette in advance for a few days. And enjoy it! Cheers!

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