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About Georgia

from 30 April, 1999


Georgian Cuisine : VegetablesLobio
Pickles and Preserves
Breads and Grains
Wines and Spirits

Note: This section is in update process

(Kidney Bean Salad)

The word lobio also designates dried beans and the salads prepared from them, mainstays of the Georgian table. Fine red and white kidney beans, smaller than our domestic varieties, grow wild in Georgia and are sold at the market, dried but not sterilized. Sometimes bugs hide in these beans. It has not dampened the longevity of us Georgians one bit. While American processing has taken care of the aesthetics, too often our beans have languished on supermarket shelves. Try to find small beans that are not old and starchy. If you are close to an Armenian community they should have them available.

Lobio is made in dozens of different ways: moistened with herb vinaigrette, puréed with tangy plum sauce seasoned simply with butter and eggs, or mixed with lettuce and celery. The main flavor in this recipe comes from the walnuts.

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 pound of small kidney beans
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sprigs of cilantro
1 sprig of parsley
1/2 generous cup of shelled walnuts
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 small hot red pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground marigold
1/2 to 3/4 cup of pomegranate juice
Pomegranate seeds

Soak the beans overnight covered with water. The next day, drain and rinse them. Place in a large pot and cover with fresh water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain. While the beans are still warm, stir in the chopped onion.

Grind the cilantro and parsley together with the walnuts, garlic and hot pepper. Add to the beans.

In a small cup mix together the cinnamon, cloves, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the marigold; stir into the bean mixture. Pour in enough pomegranate juice to moisten the beans and mix well.

Allow the beans to cool to room temperature, then serve liberally garnished with pomegranate seeds.



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