Russian Style Spring Dumplings
These dumplings are crafted with a lace-like pinch around the edges, characteristic to Russian-style dumplings called vareniki. The spelt dough is a breeze to make and very manageable, with no eggs involved. The green, tender filling includes seasonal spring-ingredients like asparagus, peas and basil.
Grilled Eggplant Salad with Walnuts
Terrific as a salad or a spread for flatbread, adzhapsandali is like a Georgian version of ratatouille. Grilling the eggplant gives the dish a luscious, smoky flavor.
Kasha Varnishkes with Mushroom Gravy
Kasha varnishkes are a classic Jewish dish from Russia and Eastern Europe made with bow-tie pasta and buckwheat groats. Buckwheat has a marvelous earthy flavor—and nine essential amino acids.
Tomato-and-Cilantro-Marinated Chicken Shashlik
Grating tomatoes is a quick way to create the juicy puree that becomes a tangy base for a super-simple marinade.
Green Beans with Eggs, Chiles and Cilantro
This Georgian dish, called lobio (bean dish), is typically served cool, but with its buttery scrambled eggs and tender green beans, it's equally delicious hot. It's great as part of a family-style menu and also makes an unusually tasty, light main course.
Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Caviar and Dill Cream
Although Wolfgang Puck is best known for putting smoked salmon, caviar and dill-flecked crème fraîche on his designer pizzas, he also loves this trio of toppings with his exceptionally crispy potato pancakes, a dish he makes frequently when cooking at home. All three garnishes are wonderfully decadent together; still, you can leave out the smoked salmon or the caviar.
Pork Shashlik with Spicy Red Wine Marinade
The grated onion in the garlicky red wine marinade here helps tenderize the pork shoulder, which can sometimes become tough when grilled.
Cranberry Bean Salad with Celery, Basil and Mint
In Russia, people often make this red lobio with kidney beans. The recipe below substitutes cranberry beans because they have a creamier texture.
Herb-and-Chile-Marinated Fish Shashlik
Russians usually make these fish kebabs with sturgeon, the firm-fleshed white fish prized for its caviar. Since most wild sturgeon is now endangered, look for sustainable farmed fish or try black cod or swordfish.
Boston Lettuce with Cilantro and Walnuts
Katya Drozdova serves simple salads like this one at her Moscow restaurants. The combination of cilantro and walnuts is a distinctly Georgian touch.