Chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.
This classic version is usually make with botwiny for which I cannot find a good translation into English.
Botwiny are young beetroots with the stalks and some leaves still attached. In Poland you can buy bunches of these for sale or you can pick them early from your garden or allotment. Here in England I have not see them for sale so if you want them you will have to grow them for yourself.
If you do have some you use all the parts – the roots, stalks and the leaves otherwise you just use cooked beetroot.
The classic version uses soured milk but unless you have access to this then Greek style natural yoghurt or soured cream and lemon juice are good alternatives.
I use beetroot concentrate which is convenient and very tasty.
1 tablespoon of beetroot concentrate to 250ml of yoghurt is a good proportion.
250g of cooked beetroots
Spring onion – green parts or chives
500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream
2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
Handful of dill
Lemon juice and gherkin liquor and cold water
Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person
Chop the beetroot into small cubes.
Chop the gherkins into small cubes.
Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
Chop the dill into small pieces.
Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
Thin this down with lemon juice, gherkin liquor & water to suit.
Add the chopped beetroots, gherkins, dill and spring onions or chives.
Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Chill in the fridge for several hours.
Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives or dill.
Served in Carnation by Royal Doulton – 1982 – 1998
The tomato is botanically the fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, although from a culinary point of view it is a vegetable.
It belongs to the deadly nightshade family as does the potato.
The tomato plant originated in the Andes in South America and tomatl was the name in the Nahuatl language give to it by the Aztec people, which then became tomate and then tomato in English.
The tomato was brought over to Europe by the Conquistadors in the late 15th Century.
The original fruits were yellow hence the Italian name pomodoro (pomo d’oro – apple of gold).
When the Italian princess, who became Queen Bona of Poland on her marriage to King Zygmunt the Old, came to Poland with her chefs in the 16th Century , the tomato was introduced to the Polish diet.
Tomato in Polish is pomidor – so you can see or rather hear its Italian root.
Home grown tomatoes are of course the best, however here in the North of England I have not had much success in growing them outdoors.
To get the best flavour from tomatoes it is best NOT to keep them in the refrigerator.
A simple tomato salad is served in Poland, always it seemed to me with the addition of onions, chives or the green part of spring onion. For many it is standard fare for breakfast with cold meats or Polish curd cheese.
Tomatoes – thinly sliced into whole rounds if small or halved if large.
Half an onion – finely chopped or
Chives or the green part of spring onions – finely chopped