Eastern Europeans certainly got comfort food right, and these crispy potato pancakes are no exception. For a quick, warming dinner, add a dollop of sour cream and serve hot.
Recipe: Potato Pancakes
Beet-and-Tomato Soup with Cumin
This terrific soup is an unexpected mix of beets, tomatoes, and tomato paste, and it has the flavor of a light borscht.
Recipe: Beet-and-Tomato Soup with Cumin
Pierogies with Smoky Mushrooms
Traditionally, these dumplings are made with forest-foraged mushrooms and either boiled or fried. Keep them in the pan a little longer with some oil to get a golden crust for that little extra oomph in your dinner.
Recipe: Pierogies with Smoky Mushrooms
Babka, Polish for “grandmother,” is named for its shape, which resembles a woman’s skirt. This Eastern European Easter version of babka is often blessed at church before being eaten.
Rich and hearty with bold spices, this dish is a dreary day no-brainer. It’s the perfect way to warm up without resorting to bland basics.
Recipe: Hungarian Beef Goulash
Russian Beef and Vegetable Soup
If the color of this soup doesn’t catch your attention, then the taste will. Beef chuck is simmered for hours in beef broth, then cooked with red beets, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.
Recipe: Russian Beef and Vegetable Soup
Shish kebabs are a traditional food of the former USSR satellite, Georgia. These lamb shish kebabs are marinated in spicy yogurt for a meal that’s comforting in a warmer weather way.
Recipe: Spicy Lamb Shish Kebabs
Based on the traditional Russian soup, this satisfying pasta supper gets its boldness and bright color from beets. Complementing the root vegetable’s rusticity and heft: hearty whole-wheat linguine and quick-browning ground beef.
Recipe: Borscht and Beef Pasta
Almost-Instant Chilled Borscht
Fresh beet juice and shredded beets are the secret to this ultra-fresh, super-quick take on borscht. Add a dollop of sour cream for a dash of rich flavor.
Recipe: Almost-Instant Chilled Borscht