Salatka is delicious ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

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.


cottage cheese
sour cream/plain yogurt/labneh/etc.
green onion/chives
salt, pepper
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!


Simply Life said...

I do love cottage cheese but always forget about it- thanks for the reminder!

Caz said...

I love cottage cheese on toast. This looks a great way to liven it up. Another favourite is cottage cheese on top of an oven baked jacket potato!

Louisa said...

This is awesome!

I made sprouted wheat bread last night, and this morning I'm having this stuff on top of toast made with that bread. Yum!!

noelle said...

omg I need this because I randomly bought some cottage cheese yesterday. It looks so good on that bread, too!

Jes said...

I'm a little bit weirded out by it...but I still want to try it. Would it be good as a side to pierogies? We have a million of those in our freezer right now!

Eileen said...

I'm so glad you guys like the idea! Exploring new cuisine for the win!

Salatka is a little strange to the American palate, right? But consider the rest of Polish cuisine--herring in sour cream, for instance. I think that's much more challenging, personally. If you like the tang of cultured dairy, you will like this.

Jes, I might not put this with a very cheese-based pierogi because you'd end up with all-dairy dinner, but it would be good with the sauerkraut, mushroom, or just potato kind. If you had some chicken or pork pelmeni, those would work too. I'd probably put some steamed buttered cabbage or other veg on the side.

la domestique said...

I'm in the love camp for cottage cheese and this is a great little idea!

JillyB said...

I love cottage cheese! Its the most versatile food ever. And I am totally going to try this, looks delicious!

Lou said...

Oh yeah, I used to LOVE cottage cheese before I went vegan... I would slam through tubs of the stuff :)

Maria said...

Wow, this sounds amazing! I need my radishes to hurry up and grow so I can try it!