23 April 2012
Salatka is delicious
Cottage cheese is one of those foods people either love or hate--and most people seem to hate it. I, on the other hand, am firmly in the love camp. Why not? It's practically an instant breakfast straight out of the fridge. Of course, sometimes you want something just a touch more complete. In this spirit, I present salatka.
"Salatka" is just the Polish word for "salad." It's not a typical salad based on greens or vegetables, however. Instead, salatka is based on cottage cheese. You heard me.
My friend Ursula taught me (plus a good half of our peer group) to make salatka during college, as part of a huge occasion dinner with pierogies and nalesniki. I can't say I make a whole lot of pierogies or nalesniki from scratch at this point in time--great though they were--but I do eat salatka.
To make salatka, you tangify cottage cheese with sour cream or another cultured dairy product, mix it with a smattering of chopped radishes or other vegetables, add salt and pepper, and spread the resulting business on hot rye toast or crackers. I suppose you can also just eat a bowl of it, but the toast contrast is so satisfying that I rarely eat it any other way.
The result is simple yet savory and filling--my ideal breakfast or quick lunch. It's also a perfect way to eat the first new radishes poking their heads up in the garden.
sour cream/plain yogurt/labneh/etc.
hot rye toast
This is the easiest stuff ever, and can take pretty much any herb or crispy raw vegetable you want to throw at it. Parsley, finely chopped cucumber, dill--whatever.
Mix a large spoonful or two of cottage cheese with a smaller spoonful of sour cream or yogurt. Finely chop a couple radishes and add them to the mix. If you want an oniony kick, finely chop some green onions or chives and add them to the mix as well. I used chives. Ursula would definitely say that adding green onion is heresy--but it's such delicious heresy. Salt and pepper to taste; I prefer a tiny pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.
Spread the resulting mixture over pieces of hot rye toast. Other kinds of bread are acceptable; cucumber or large radish slices would also be an interesting idea.
Voila! Practically instant savory breakfast is served!