Once my garden produces an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables, the time is right to cook Botvinka. Soups are very popular in Eastern Europe, and are the first course of a lunch of dinner meal, just like tossed salads in the US.
The name for this soup derives from the description of the tops (botvinka – leaves and stalks) of very young red beet plants, which are the major ingredient in this soup. This dish is full of goodness of fresh, young, green leafy vegetables, and because they are so tender, they require very short cooking time.
My sister-in-law shared this recipe withe me, and I prepared it for my daughter’s Memorial Day party.
It is somewhat similar to a Taco Dip, but much creamier, and with a little more kick to it. There was lots of positive feedback from everyone who tried it. I made this dip with only 6 layers, since I omitted the black olives (I am not a big fan of olives).
Here is another recipe for my vegetarian friends, and one I like preparing for my family on meatless days, especially during Lent. It requires only few ingredients, and is quick and simple to prepare, unless you decide to make home-made pasta, which I did for this recipe (making your own pasta is much easier than you probably imagine). This recipe serves 4-6.
Green Peppers are one of those vegetables that taste great raw, or cooked. I like all color peppers, green, red, orange, yellow, as a raw vegetable used in salads, or with dips. I also would like to share this recipe for peppers served hot, as a main course, or as a side dish. Peppers, like cabbage rolls, may be stuffed with meat or vegetable stuffing, so I selected the rice/mushrooms stuffing for this recipe.
Most of you already are familiar with Cabbage Rolls, but to Eastern European cooks, they are known as Holupki. Holubtsi, or Golabki. All Cabbage Rolls may look the same, yet be very different, depending on the filling used to prepare them. The most popular filling consists of cooked rice mixed with ground beef and spices; however you can also use rice or buckwheat mixed with mushrooms, spiced up mashed potatoes, or a vegetarian filling, which I will introduce in this recipe. Cabbage Rolls are not the easiest dish to prepare, since it requires a lot of prep work beforehand, especially the cabbage, but if you love them, it’s well worth the effort.