Sallad from the Silk Road

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    We found a cookbook called “Samarkand” by two British women Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford. It’s one of those $35 cookbooks with great graphics & is part travelogue.
    We usually pass on these but $6 at a used bookstore was too good to pass up. Working with it has been fun as a lot of the recipes are for grilled meats. The kebab recipes are excellent for summer grilling but the real joy is the salads. They are worth the price of the book especially now with gardens in full production. We’re passing on the “Tarhun” which is a tarragon infused cold drink often fortified with vodka and described as having a “lurid” green color. It’s a bit much for our taste.

    I’ll pass on a Tajick salad here that we’ve found super and that solves a problem with salads. The problem is that there’s two of us. Hauling out all of the vegetables, washing and cutting them up each time we want fresh salad is a royal pain. This one only needs to be done about ever four or five days, bagged up and taken out as a base for each meal. Then we add and serve. I’ll give you the basic and then possible adds. Quantities vary based on what and how much you have.

    Equal parts chopped radish & split and seeded cucumber. Chop them into about half inch chunks and use young tender cucumbers
    Add half a dozen chopped green onions both the green and white parts
    Chop and add a generous handful of dill fronds & a similar quantity of chopped fresh mint & cilantro

    Store it refrigerated in a tightly covered container. To serve, remove portions and plate adding a pinch of salt, a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes and about half a teaspoon of sugar. They call it “sweetie hottie” which we think is a hoot.

    We regularly add halved cherry tomato (which would destroy the long storage if done initially)
    A few olives and maybe a sprinkle of a cheese like Feta which my DW calls “Nasaly”

    Another add which improves it is a squeeze of lemon or lime and a splash of olive oil
    Adding torn bits of good bread makes it almost like the Arab or Israeli Fatoosh salad

    A lot of other tasty & healthy stuff included. If you spot the book I’d advise grabbing a copy

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