At Rooted Pear we are constantly learning new recipes, prep methods, and cuisines. For our latest Kitchen to Kitchen episode I was introduced to two new dishes that I quickly became a fan of. We started with Okroshka, a vibrant chilled soup found in Russian fare. Its yogurt-based broth, usually just Kefir and water, is mixed in with radishes, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, scallions and boiled potatoes. We wanted to give it a little extra something, so we opted to add in a salty ham to the soup along with a combination of fresh herbs like dill, parsley, and mint. It was an incredibly simple dish to prepare and the outcome was nothing short of delicious. The combination of tangy and salty, smooth and crunchy makes it THE perfect summer food. Next up was the Vareniki, a dumpling filled with farmer’s cheese. This is also a staple dish of Russian cuisine and a simple one at that! The dumpling dough was easy-peasy and took only minutes to make. After an hour or so of resting, we were ready to start rolling out and filling in! We decided to go with an all-around crowd-pleaser so we stuffed our Vareniki with a creamy blend of farmers cheese and egg, however, it is quite common to find both savory and sweet versions of Vareniki. With a dollop of filling, a quick fold and pinch, these little pillowy goodies are floating in boiling water in no time. As soon as you pull these dumplings out, a quick toss in some warm butter completes the dish. Now its time to enjoy your vareniki with a little sour cream. Yum!