The season of fresh, locally grown vegetables is here again, and with it a penchant for a good summer salad. Although you can make one all through the year these days, I’m sure you know the difference between vegetables imported from far-away countries or grown in artificial conditions of big indoor farms, and those that come to your table straight from your sun-lit garden.
The recipe below uses vegetables typically grown and widely used in Slovakia. To make the salad even more Slovak, I have added to it Parenitza, one of our traditional cheeses with a very specific texture and shape.
The vegetable varieties for the salad might look different from those you can buy in your country, but it only shows how diverse our world is and how many new tastes you can discover by trying regional foods.
Slovak-Style Salad with Parenitza Cheese
- 6 leaves of lettuce
- 1 medium size cucumber
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 yellow (banana) pepper
- greens of 1 spring onion
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Parenitza cheese
- Peel the cucumber. Wash all the vegetables under running water. Thinly slice the cucumber into a large salad bowl. Cut the peppers into short strips and halve or quarter the tomatoes. Add them to the bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix together and let the vegetables release their juices.
- Meanwhile, slice the lettuce leaves into stripes and chop the onion greens. Add them to the salad. Spoon in the oil and the vinegar, toss over the basil leaves and mix everything well.
- Tear a few strips off the Parenitza cheese and place them over the top. Serve alongside meat or vegetarian dishes, or with a slice of bread for a snack.