Note: This section is in update process
A hallmark of Georgian cuisine is mkhali,
a vegetable purée to which herbs and ground walnuts are
added. Mkhali is made from any number of different
vegetables, though spinach and beets are favored. Some of the most
interesting versions call for radish and even cauliflower greens.
In making mkhali, you
must rely on your palate, since the amount of vinegar necessary
depends on the sugar content of each given vegetable. It should be
sharp but vinegary.
Georgians like to mix their vegetable
by hand and that means both hands. But, in our modern society we can
use a blender.
Bake the unpeeled beets at 375oF
for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until tender. If you are short of time, the
beets may be boiled, but their flavor will not be as good. While the
beets are cooking, grind together walnuts, garlic and salt. Add the
cilantro, parsley and continue grinding to make a fine paste. Transfer
to a bowl.
1 pound of beets
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried summer savory
1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander seed
1 or 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar (to taste)
When the beets are soft, peel them and
finely grate them in the food processor. In a medium size bowl mix
together the grated beets and the ground walnut mixture, then stir in
the remaining ingredients. Keep tasting, as the amount of vinegar
needed will depend on the sweetness of the beets. The mkhali
should be slightly tart.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least
2 hours, but bring to room temperature before serving, mounted on a
plate and cross-hatched on top with a knife.