An elegant take on a classic Russian welcome snack
Greeting someone in your home with bread and salt is a very old Slavic tradition which survives into the present day Russian language. While no one greets their guests with a large chunk of bread and a small bowl of salt anymore, saying that someone gave you a ‘bread and salt welcome’ means you were treated very generously by your hosts.
This recipe is inspired by the old Russian tradition, cobbling together some of the classic flavour combinations such as rye bread, butter, dill, spring onion and radishes. The fresher and richer the rye bread and the saltier the butter, the better.
4 slices of dark rye or borodinksy bread
100g unsalted butter
2 large pinches of sea salt
8 spring onions
Unrefined sunflower oil, for brushing
Lightly toast the rye bread on a dry, non-stick frying pan or in a toaster. Set aside to cool down.
Using a food processor or a hand blender, mix the butter with salt and fresh dill until a light, fluffy green paste is achieved. This should not take more than 5 mins.
Heat a griddle pan. Lightly brush the spring onions with oil before placing them on the griddle. Char on each side for approx 1 min, or as long as it takes for the distinct marks to appear. Wash the radishes (remove the leaves if they come with them) and slice into thin discs.
To serve, smother each slice of bread with approx 20g dill butter. Decorate with 2 charred spring onions which you can curve into a shape and dot the discs of radishes on top. Add a final sprinkle of salt before serving.
Recipe: Alissa Timoshkina