Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Sallatë me kastravec" means salad with cucumber

Ingredients1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped thinly
1/2 white onion (or 3 scallions), chopped
about 4 tbsp olive oil
about 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Toss all ingredients together.

2. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 side servings (I eat a mixing bowl full at a time)

Pronunciation: salawt meh kastravets

Fun fact: Salads of all kinds are extremely popular in Kosovo. The Albanian's mom has been making this one for his family meals since he was small.

Serving tip: It goes a bit soggy if you don't eat it right away, at which point it makes for a great sandwich topping.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Sallatë pure patëllxhani" means baked eggplant salad

2 medium eggplants
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 to 4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse the eggplants and place on a baking sheet covered with foil. Bake for about an hour and a half until very soft.
2. Remove eggplants from oven and allow to cool until touching them doesn't burn your finger tips off (about 20 minutes). Slice in half and scoop innards into a large bowl.
3. Stir in garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and parsley.
4. Serve at once or let the flavors set deeper and enjoy later or the following day.

Makes about 4 servings

Pronunciation: salawt pureh patlejohn

The Albanian's reaction to this dish: He almost vomited. He told me it looked like shit, and that he'd never seen anything like that in Kosovo. On top of that, he said he'd never even seen or heard of an eggplant before he came to the US. That's probably because he'd never been grocery shopping before he moved here. True story.

Very loosely based on an extremely vague recipe in a cookbook called The Best of Albanian Cooking: Favorite Family Recipes by Klementina and R. John Hysa.