Few years ago my friends served me salad which they officially call Ivanovs' salad (Ivanovs being our mutual friends). Upon gazing at the ingredients I was compelled to ask why they dubbed this particular dish thusly, and they explained that they were never served this salad before they came to Ivanovs for a meal. This little story made me laugh, because everyone in Moscow (from whence both Ivanovs and yours truly originally hail) made this salad (providing, of course, that the ingredients were available); my friends, on the other hand, came from Leningrad and Kiev, where, I guess, this culinary offering was not in vogue.
That, as Sir Percy would say, was just the title. Fast-forward to today; I decided to make myself a salad to break my fast, and for whatever reasons, decided to make “Ivanonvs'” salad – or, as we called it, radish salad, the ingredients for which are radishes, cucumbers, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, and mayo. And that's how fun started.
First, I realized that I was too lazy to go back for scallions when I was in the story, so I had to substitute it with an onion. Second, I saw a beautiful package of mushrooms in my shopping bag – well, it's winter, and we need extra vitamin D, so mushrooms followed. Steps 3 and 4 were uneventful: a bunch of radishes and 4 cucumbers. Then I realized that I was very low on eggs, and only had 3 instead of 5 I usually put. In order to compensate for the lack of protein, I decided to add 3 little cans of tuna which were hanging around since summer and munchkins' visit. And as I was opening tuna, making sure that Sniffles does not get into it (for his own protection), I remembered that a few kosher establishments served something vaguely similar (minus the radishes) and called it nicoise salad. Of course, kosher establishments usually use loose interpretations of the original recipe, but who cares. So, I topped my creation with a jar of black olives, and on top of the generous helping of the mayonnaise added the horse radish sauce.
The results, my friends, were surprisingly good, and I decided to share with you the recipe of this particular cooking experiment.