Sochi! Olympics! Putin shirtless! O.k., well at least two out of three ain't bad. I cringe after every skater as NBC pans to a stoic Putin in the crowd. Honestly, NBC should just rename themselves the Putin Television Network. There has to be more about Russian than just Putin sitting in a crowd or hanging half naked in a hotel room - his portrait, I mean. That and the stories of uniquely unfinished hotel rooms and bathrooms drove me to think about how I could share more about the culture of Russian to my family instead of the mismanaged hype.
The Russian people are known for many great things including unique food due in part to their climates and topography. In particular, they are known for pickling certain foods including cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage. Their pickling brine is almost as holy as soy sauce to some Asian cultures. Almost as holy as vodka! So, I decided we'd celebrate a bit of the culture of Russian outside of the NBC/PTN mockumentary experience by having a bit of pickled foods and a few shots of vodka for the adults with a proper Russian toast of course.
Here are two great quick pickle recipes I developed for the occasion. One recipe is for tomatoes with pepperoncini and the other is for cooked Brussels sprouts. Vashe zrodovye! - To your health! Half naked or not.
Calories are pretty small, probably about 10 or so for each tomato and 10 for about a quarter of the Brussels sprouts.
You can serve the Brussels Sprouts within an hour or so, but I'd wait a day at least for the tomatoes.
This is a refrigerator recipe. Please do not use for long term storage canning.
Growing up in a small prairie town in the hot summer with not much to do, one tends to remember very specific childhood aha moments. My older brother was a bit of a mystery to me as he was 16 years older and either in college or married ever since I could remember. When he came home, we had loads of fun. Especially when he cheated at playing cards, but that's another story. One day while outside we were eating watermelon and he started to put salt on his. I thought, whoa! Who puts salt on fruit? He said try it, you will really love it. Well, he was right. Salted watermelon was just like putting salt on raw potatoes or tomatoes or cucumbers right from the garden. It helps the flavor dance on your tongue. So I was inspired to combine a few salty ingredients with some watermelon. Perhaps this salad will become your aha dancing tongue summer moment.
About 140 calories per serving.