Red Onion & Broccoli Salad: More Foods We Can Make in Bishkek

When I was in Ankara this past November I didn’t experience a single food craving.  After a few days I realized I should chock this up to the great quantities of leafy dark greens I was consuming – chard, spinach, arugula. Back in Bishkek winter vegetables are a little…flat.

Thankfully, there are still a few places selling green vegetables a few shades darker than that pale cabbage.  Orto Sai Bazaar, Yimpas, the little bazaar on Moscovskaya between Ibramov and Sovietskaya, and occasionally Boorsok and Globus all have broccoli and spinach.  Sometimes the spinach looks a bit frayed around the edges, but the broccoli is generally good.  And from here comes my fallback winter salad recipe:broccoli salad 2


  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1 red onion (or white if you can’t find red)
  • 2 T fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t sumac and or isot (a dark smoked pepper)
  • Optional: cranberries, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, scallions to top


  • Cut the broccoli into bite-sized chunks
  • Steam the broccoli (just long enough so it isn’t raw but still has a bit of crunch)
  • Chop the onion; mix withe the broccoli
  • Squeeze out the lemon juice
  • Mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, spices and optional dried cranberries, sunflower seeds or garbanzo beans with the broccoli
  • Let sit in the refrigerator until cool
  • Voila!  Delicious winter salad that is actually possible to make with available ingredients.

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