Ukrainian Borshch (Украинский борщ)

BorshchI lived in Moscow through the summer and fall of 1991, the last months of the Soviet Union, when food could only be reliably found in open-air farmers’ markets, at prices jacked up to market levels.  During these days, I spent many hours with my friend Sergei Maslov who, like me, was studying at the Moscow Energy Institute.  Often I would visit his family in their cozy apartment in the southeast corner of the city, and his mother Marina would make dinners for us.  One of my favorite dishes was her authentic Ukrainian borshch.  One day I took out my notebook and wrote down the recipe as Marina prepared the soup.  I have scanned the original handwritten page and included it below. Continue reading

Quinoa Burgers

Quinoa BurgerThis evening we made a very easy and tasty vegan burger.  I’m posting it here to make sure we don’t lose the recipe.  It comes from the book Meatless Burgers by Louise Hagler.  Quinoa is a remarkable grain that originated in the Andes and was first cultivated as long as 4000 years ago.  It is high in protein and also contains calcium, phosphorus, and iron.  We eat it often. Continue reading

Gazpacho

GazpachoThis chilled soup is ideal for a summer meal, and a sure way to impress any guest.  This is the gazpacho that blew my mind in Madrid when we first visited a few years ago — with a smooth, creamy, velvety consistency, but without any animal-based products at all.  The recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated.  While the folks at America’s Test Kitchen often seem to needlessly complicate some standard recipes, this one is well worth the small additional effort to prepare the vegetables. Continue reading

Farro and Asparagus Salad

Farro-SaladRecently while looking for a new idea for a refreshing but substantial salad to serve for Easter brunch, we found this gem on Allrecipes.com.  We liked it so much that we served it two more times within a month.  Once we substituted barley for the farro with excellent results.  The other time, we replaced the asparagus with fresh steamed green beans, which were delightful. Continue reading