When you think of Balkan cuisine, it is possible that the first things that come to mind are hearty stews, meats and all kinds of spreads for the aperitif, but there are also areas where many vegetables are prepared, both cooked and raw. . Macedonia is one of the most fertile regions, with an orchard offering everything from apples to vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, with which they prepare delicious ajvar-, grapes, watermelons, peaches, tomatoes and peppers in season.
My friend Nikola Lazovski, a Macedonian living in Barcelona and author of this recipe, tells me that “cabbage in salads is very typical in all the Balkans, and specifically in Macedonia it is usually paired with carrots and beets or radishes, all of this. which is fresh and local “. Another salad that is eaten with the intention of strengthening the immune system – it is cold there in winter and we must try to keep viruses at bay, even if it is our whole diet and not a particular dish that will help us in these tasks – is grated apple, beetroot and carrot.
If we are not very good at cutting the cabbage finely and we suspect that it may be a bit coarse when we bite it, we can season it beforehand with part of the vinaigrette and let it rest for half an hour: the acid of the vinegar – Nikola uses the balsamic di Modena, I replicated it with apple cider vinegar and it works great too and the salt will help soften it up and make it a much more enjoyable bite.
Although it is very good as it is, surely some salmon or smoked trout, some anchovies, bonito in oil or a few cubes of cheese are to die for; Nuts also seem to be good hosts at that party, and dehydrated fruit like dried apricots or raisins can add a touch of joy. If what we want is more acidity, we can leave the pickled cucumber in the fridge from the day before with a mixture of vinegar, water, salt and sugar (and since we are preparing more, because it lasts for days and we can add it from a dish. of vegetarian lentils to a melted cheese sandwich).
The one for cutting cabbage very finely.
For 4 people (as a side dish)
- 250 g of white cabbage
- 250 g of red cabbage
- 2 fresh carrots
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 handful of parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill
- virgin olive oil
- Balsamic or apple vinegar
- A pinch of garlic powder
- Cut the two cabbages very thin, with a mandolin – very carefully so as not to cut yourself – or a sharp knife and be patient.
- Grate the carrots and chop the cucumber into small cubes. Chop the dill.
- Prepare the dressing with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Mix well.
- Mix the vinaigrette well with the rest of the ingredients, let it rest for 10 minutes and serve.
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