It was very hot here in Slovakia during last 2 weeks so to be honest I didn’t cook a lot. It was hot even in Nová Baňa last weekend but it didn’t stop me from cooking one of the most famous summer dishes from Odessa cuisine: grilled eggplants, peppers and tomatoes spread. This recipe has obviously Greek or Bulgarian roots, but both Greek and Bulgarians were quite influential in summer Ukrainian region so it’s no wonder that a lot of dishes I often cook have South European or Middle East origin.
This week was very hot in Bratislava so the idea to spend a weekend in a country house in Nová Baňa sounded as a good idea. It was hot even there so my choice for the Saturday dinner was obvious: I cooked a cold beetroot soup.
If you ask me what is the taste of south Ukrainian summer, I will place this soup (it has very cute name in the region where I grew up “cholodnichok”) right after famous Mikado tomatoes. It’s also interesting because you can find all 3 staples of Ukrainian cuisine in this recipe: beet, dill and sour cream. Someone call this soup “cold borsht”. Every year I waited for the beginning of summer and my mom can finally cook it. It’s a super dish for hot summer days when you don’t want to eat too much but you also don’t want to feel hunger in an hour after you had lunch.
My newest addiction: visiting a country house in Nová Baňa, a small town surrounded by the mountains in central Slovakia. It’s a great place for digital detox (as I have internet only on my iphone and a signal is weak) and just for relax and cooking experiments*.
I’ve been there this weekend and found that spring came to Nová Baňa 2 weeks later than in Bratislava. Even lilac is not in bloom in Nová Baňa yet). This means that wild garlic is in a high season, so guess what did I take from my walk in the nearby forest?