Ukrainian Christmas Eve Food
Z Rizdvom Hrystovym! - Merry Christmas!
Ukraine celebrates Christmas tomorrow, the 7th of January (according to Gregorian calendar). So today is Ukrainian Christmas Eve! We also have the 13th of January to celebrate - Old New Year! And that is the most interesting and unusual celebration of all, but I'll explain that in the next blog post.
January in Ukraine is a period steeped in tradition. Carol singers go from door to door acting out mini nativity plays with ancient Ukrainian folk characters mixed with religious characters all dressed in bright traditional textiles. It's a feast for the eyes and ears - especially when the carol singers get it right!
Food is an important part of the festive period and tonight we will have a traditional supper that will consist of 12 dishes (representing the 12 apostles). Often theses dishes are meat and dairy free, reserving Christmas Day for the meaty dishes.
One of the dishes I'll be preparing tonight will be a salad called Vinaigrette in Ukraine. It's a very popular salad in my family, so the recipe will be the way my mum makes it!
2-3 - good sized potatoes
1 middle sized onion
2-3 fermented gherkins
3 middle sized beetroots
1 can of butter beans
2-3 table spoons of unrefined cold pressed sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Boil your beets separately for about an hour until they are soft and your knife can cut it easily. Drain beets, peel and put aside to cool down.
In the separate pot boil potatoes with carrots both with skins on for approximately 20-30 minutes, until you can easily cut them with your knife, but be careful not to overboil potatoes. Drain, peel and put aside to cool down.
Dice all the ingredients in one bowl, add beans, add 2-3 table spoons of sunflower oil( if you don't have aromatic cold press sunflower oil, you can substitute it with any other oil you have( olive, vegetable or rapeseed),add vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste.
Just to add if you don't have some of the ingredients, you can make this salad with or with out beans, you can substitute gherkins with other pickles that you have like sourkraut. This recipe like so many others in Ukraine vary depending on where you live, a bit like Borscht soup recipe. Hundreds of variations of one dish! The main thing it has to taste a little bit tangy.
It's very healthy salad that used in Ukraine during lent. Hopefully you will try to make it at home this winter.
Let me know what you think
Merry Ukrainian Christmas! x