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sia (www.luxurytrainclub.com/trains/ imperial-russia-train), and Grand Trans-Siberian Express (www.eurasi- aexpress.de). She describes the Golden Eagle as “the most luxurious private train in Russia,” and provided a recipe so we can share in the on-board dining experience. Of it she says, “This rich- ly flavored appetizer is often served as one of several zakuski at the start of a Russian meal. Even people who claim not to like beets are usually seduced by this salad.” It makes eight to ten serv- ings.


lbs. fresh beetroot (weight with- out stalks and leaves), unpeeled


2 1


Beet Salad With Walnuts And Prunes (Svyoklii Salat S Orekhami I Chernoslivom) /2


vegetable oil 1


/2 to 3 /4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts 16 pitted prunes


4 large garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. salt


1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3


/4 cup sour cream Preheat the oven to 400° F. Wash


and dry unpeeled beets and rub them lightly with vegetable oil. Bake beets on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for one hour or longer, depending on the size of the beets, until just tender when pierced with a fork. Let beets cool completely.


Chef Il’khomudin Kamolov working in the close-quarters galley aboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express in 2006. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHARON HUDGINS


PLEASE NOTE: Readers are encour- aged here to contact me with ques- tions or suggestions for this column at onthemenu@railfan.com.


For More Information: To learn


more about Sharon, her articles and books, speaking engagements, and other favorite recipes, please visit www.sharonhudgins.com.


While beets are cooling, reduce oven temperature to 350° F and toast wal- nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet for eight minutes. Slice prunes in half horizontally, then slice each lengthwise into thin strips (julienne). Peel cooled beets, cut off tough ends,


and grate coarsely (about five cups of grated beets). Combine beets, walnuts, prunes, garlic, salt, and pepper, and toss to mix well. Gently stir in sour cream and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. This salad is even better when made a day in advance, but let it come back to room temperature before serving. Note: To avoid dyeing your fingers


and utensils with beet juice, wear plastic gloves and use a plastic cutting board when handling the beets.


PLEASE SEND QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS on railroad dining, art, and other trackside treats to Jim Porterfi eld at P.O. Box 3041, Elkins, WV 26241, or email onthemenu@railfan.com.


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