Chicken radish salad_Jurgita1
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Jurgita Vaskel’s Chicken Radish Salad

Issue 07
Written By Jurgita Vaskel

In Lithuania, people can’t imagine eating an early spring salad without radishes. The most popular type of salad is made of spring onions, salad leaves, radishes, sometimes dill and huge spoonfuls of sour cream. To celebrate this seasonal staple food, I make a radish salad with a twist.

Chicken radish salad_Jurgita

Recipe: Chicken, Radish and Orange Salad
300 g chicken meat from a leftover roast chicken cut into pieces
1 large, juicy and sweet orange
10-15 radishes
mix of salad leaves (200 g)

dressing:
1 small orange (juice only)
some lemon juice and honey
extra virgin olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Wash and dry the salad leaves. Cut the radishes into thin slices. Peel the orange, divide into slices and remove the pith keeping the slices and juice intact the best you can.

To make the dressing, in a separate bowl, whisk together the juices of the small orange, lemon, honey and a good glug of olive oil.

To assemble the salad, in a large bowl, combine the salad leaves, chicken, orange slices, and radishes.  Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix ingredients together. Divide the salad into two portions,  and serve on deep plates. Pour the dressing on the salad and serve immediately with some freshly baked bread.

In Vilnius, it is important to try…

  • Smoked pig ears as a beer snack
  • Vėdarai which is pork intestine stuffed with a filling made from a combination of smoked meat and potato
  • šaltibarščiai which is a cold and refreshing beetroot soup

In Vilnius, dont miss a meal at…

  • Lokys: I love the atmosphere of this old restaurant in Vilnius. The food is good and you can try old Lithuanian cuisine with a twist along with other unusual dishes like beaver meat stew.
  • Soul Box: A place for young souls. Good food in the daytime, one of the best cocktail places in Vilnius at night.
  • Fiorentino: An Italian restaurant on a charming street in Old Town near the University of Vilnius. I love their bruschette, fagottini and cantucci with Vin Santo to end the meal.

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INTERVIEW: Jurgita Vaskel, food blogger, Duonos Ir Zaidimu 

01 Where are you based?
I am from Vilnius, Lithuania.

02 When/why did you launch your blog?
I launched my blog in January 2009. In fact, the idea about the blog came suddenly. There were lack of creativity in my office job. Boring jobs make people think about new ways to enjoy their lifes (remember Julie&Julia?). Besides, there were a few Lithuanian food blogs at the moment and I loved reading them. Since I’ve always been into food, loved writing and photography I decided to create a food blog. Voila!

03 When did you start cooking?
I think food has always been big to me. Although I wasn’t good in the kitchen for quite a long time, I have always collected recipes and loved cooking books. I still have those two huge binders full of clippings from the magazines! Food connects people. Food heals. Good food can make your day brighter as well as a good company. Since the day I’ve started my blog, I’m feeling a little bit food obsessed :)

04 Who/what inspires your cooking?
The biggest inspirations come from my daily life: Books, magazines, movies, people I meet, food blogs, my childhood memories, my travels – they all inspire me. I’m in love with cooking memoir books and sure can’t miss cookbook shelves in the book stores!

Chicken radish salad_Jurgita1

05 Do you entertain at home? 
Since I’m on maternity leave and have a little baby, home entertaining are not as frequent as they could be. However, I love cheese and the dishes made of it – there’s always a small piece of brie or gouda in my fridge. I enjoy baking and find playing with dough therapeutic and relaxing. If I could make only one dish for my guests, it would be something for the sweet tooths, probably a huge and creamy cheesecake or Lithuanian honey cake!

06 Are there any cultural traditions/expectations that you can share with us related to entertaining guests at home?
Nothing special. Playing table games, singing karaoke, dancing. Eating, communicating, sharing laughs and enjoying the company.

07 What is next for you?
Some of my readers ask about my plans to publish a book. I can’t promise that but who knows? I do have some plans related with my blog and would love to improve my food photography skills. I don’t have much time for my blog at the moment – my little boy is the most important thing in my life – but food never leaves me.

Recipes with Radishes:

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