Latvian Summer Salad

Simple salad

Summer doesn’t officially start for another five weeks when the solstice arrives, but warm weather is here already. It’s time for something cool and refreshing to eat that’s also simple to make.

This salad probably isn’t unique to Latvians. The people of the other countries bordering the Baltic Sea no doubt also enjoy this salad. There are many variations.

There’s not much to it. Under that pile of veggies is a mound of small curd cottage cheese. Thinly slice cucumbers and radishes. Chop scallions. Sprinkle fresh dill on top. For us Latvians there’s no such thing as too much dill. Add salt and pepper to taste. No other dressing is necessary–that would make the salad too goopy.

Variations of this salad are cukes with scallions. Or radishes with scallions. You can also skip the cottage cheese and mix the various veggies in any combination with sour cream. If you like, you can serve this salad on a bed of lettuce of your choice. It looks like that’s what I’ve done here, but it’s just a pile of chopped green onions.

You can also do sandwiches. Black rye bread would be the Latvian choice. Top it with butter, the cottage cheese, put sliced radishes or cukes or both on top, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill. You can also finely dice the cuke, grate the radishes and mix them with sour cream for a refreshing sandwich spread. And dill, always dill. Actually, dill is not mandatory. If you don’t like it, you can leave it out or substitute minced cilantro or parsley–but then your spread won’t be authentically Latvian.

Labu apetīti!  Bon apetit. Good appetite!

6 thoughts on “Latvian Summer Salad”

  1. Dace, your blog explains to me why I prefer to eat my salads without the blob of dressing. A bit of salt, some chopped onion or chives, seem to be plenty of seasoning for my tastes. It appears to be a “Latvian thing” for sure! 🙂


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