Russian Zakuski Part III: Crab Salad

Russians are renowned for their world-class crab meat charka.  The high quality really does justify the price.  However, when times were/are tough, half the crab meat can be substituted with fresh white cabbage, shredded, gently blanched for 2 minutes and dried before stirring into the crab mix.  This is a quick dish, ideal to add another plate to the zakuski table.

Crab Salad

Ingredients

250g crab meat

75g sour cream

1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Slices of bread to serve

Instructions

Put the crab meat in a bowl

Add the sour cream

Stir

Top with garnish of parsley

(It really is that easy!)

Crab Salad

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Russian Zakuski Part II: Cold Cod Salad

Cold Cod Salad was created during the Soviet era when the Russians regularly suffered severe food shortages.  Thankfully, due to the presence of carrots in this dish, it provided necessary colour to the zakuski table.  It is best to chill the salad overnight so the sour cream top hardens slightly.

Cold Cod Salad

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Russian Drachena Recipe

This little but absolutely scrumptious dish is a sort of cross between a pancake and an omelette, however, unlike the aforementioned, it is cooked in the oven.  This dish is super quick and very easy, requiring relatively few ingredients which makes it ideal to serve as a starter with a garnish of green salad, as part of a tapas selection, or even for a perfect evening supper dish when you are tired after getting home from work and want a quick and delicious snack.  Sweet alternatives can also be made, just exclude the vegetables and sweeten with sugar and/or honey.

Spring Onion, Garlic & Tomato Drachena
Spring Onion, Garlic & Tomato Drachena

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Adriatic Salad

The last few days in the UK have been sunny and warm, so it seemed only right to enjoy some summer food inspired by the Adriatic region.  This salad is quick but so delicious and makes an excellent starter, light main course or side dish.  Serve with some great chunks of fresh wholemeal or granary bread.

This is such a great fresh dish with fantastic flavour and super cheap if you opt to use tinned sardines.  Plus, do not forget, sardines are a great source of those all important omega-3 and I truly believe what they say, fish is brain food!

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 large firm ripe tomatoes

1 large red onion

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

6 tbsp good olive oil

18 – 24 small cooked sardines

75g black pitted olives, drained well

salt and freshly ground pepper

(I used smoked salt but regular salt will be fine)

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

Slice the tomatoes very thinly

Arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate

sardines-2

Top with slices of red onion

Mix together the white wine vinegar, olive oil and seasoning and spoon over tomatoes and onion

Top with sardines and black olives

Sprinkle over parsley and a squeeze of lemon

Serve!

Serve!