Eastern Europe is famed for its pickles. It’s the home of all imaginable vinegary vegetables—from classic gherkins to pickled beetroot and cauliflower, there are so many great pickles to eat in Poland. This salad celebrates the humble cucumber in its raw and pickled state and adds fragrant dill to the mix—an herb that’s used a lot in Eastern Europe. It’s a super-quick and easy salad, which I like to serve at barbecues.
Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm always make borscht around the holidays. One year, they had roasted fennel left over after a day of food styling and decided to add it to the soup pot; they've been making borscht with fennel ever since. They like their soup really sweet and sour, but you can adjust the vinegar and honey to your taste.
This was all I ever wanted to eat growing up, and I still crave it more than I care to admit. This Eastern European cabbage soup is really more of a schi than a borscht, but why quibble over names? In America in the ’60s, unless you were Russian, this was borscht. Funny how that works. It’s a meal in a bowl to be sure, but small portions are a great starter. I have been making this for decades; it’s a battle-tested classic. —Andrew Zimmern