Poles have loved raw vegetable salads ever since they were introduced by Italian nobility in the 14th and 15th centuries. Their bright colors enhance every plate and with heir fresh crunch, vegetables pair well with almost any main course for dinner or lunch. And best yet, they’re a healthy way to improve your family’s diet. Favorite “binders” are sour cream and favorite seasonings are dill, chopped green onion or lemon juice. Now that hot weather is here and the farmer’s markets are trending big, there’s not much better than a fresh chilled salad on your plate. These Polish classic salads are light, refreshing and pair well with just about any main course on today’s menu.
(Note: these salads lend themselves especially well to modern kitchen tools such as food processors or mandolin slicers.)
(image courtesy of CosDobrego.pl)
Tomato Cucumber Salad
1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped dill (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Arrange your tomato and cucumber slices alternately on a long serving dish. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, green onions and dill. Sprinkle with the vinegar.
Polish Summer Salad
8 to 10 medium radishes, sliced
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 cup sour cream
Sugar and salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
image courtesy MangoTomato.com
1 bunch red radishes, sliced
1 cup of creamy cottage cheese
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
Salt to taste
Fold the radishes into the cottage cheese. Top with green onions and salt. Chill well. Serve on the lettuce leaves or as a spread on your favorite crusty bread.
Cabbage & Pickle Salad
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 medium dill pickles, coarsely shredded
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons pickle juice (from the jar)
2 tablespoons salad oil
1 small tomato, sliced
Combine the cabbage and pickles. Mix in the salt, sugar, pickle juice, and oil. Arrange on a pretty dish. Chill well. Garnish with tomato slices and serve.
½ pound sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1 large sweet apple, shredded
3 tablespoons salad oil
1 teaspoon chopped green onions
Rinse the sauerkraut really well, squeeze to drain and chop or shred finely. Sprinkle with sugar. Mix in the carrots, apples and oil. Chill well. Taste before serving and perhaps add more sugar if needed.