I recent got back from a trip to Georgia – as in Georgia the country, not the state in the US. Georgia has rich volcanic soil, which means the country has amazing fruits and vegetables with a rich flavor that you won’t find with hydroponically-produced produce. One of the most amazing recipes I ate while in Georgia was boiled spinach with walnuts, or pkhali.
Yes, I realize that boiled spinach doesn’t exactly sound exciting. But, trust me, this spinach recipe is amazing and will convert over any “vegetable haters”. Georgians put walnuts on everything (like in this eggplant and walnut recipe), and the walnuts give the spinach a rich, satisfying taste and great texture. Walnuts are also a great source of Omega 3, so they will make your hair and skin look awesome. Most of us can probably also use some more greens in our lives, especially as a vegan source of iron and calcium. You can also use other types of greens in place of the spinach, such as kale, beet greens, or (my favorite) nettles.
Georgian Spinach with Walnuts Recipe (Pkhali)
Yields: About 4 cups
- 3 pounds of spinach (or greens of choice)
- 14 ounces of walnuts
- 2 white onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 ounces of fresh cilantro (about 1 small bunch)
- 2 ounces of fresh parsley (about 1 small bunch)
- 6-8 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 heaping Tbsp red pepper
- 1 heaping Tbsp dried marigold (omit if you don’t have it, or you can buy it here)
- 1 heaping Tbsp blue fenugreek
- Pomegranate seeds for garnishing
- Prepare the spinach. Cut off the ends and wash it thoroughly.
- Boil or steam the spinach until it is soft. Don’t overcook it though. It should still have its bright green color, not be dull and slimy! When cooked, squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and set aside.
- In a food processor, meat grinder or Magic Bullet, grind the walnuts and garlic. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add red pepper, marigold, and fenugreek to the bowl with the walnut mixture. Add the white wine vinegar and mix.
- Finely chop the onion, parsley and cilantro. Add to the walnut mixture.
- In the food processor (or meat grinder or Magic Bullet), grind up the cooked spinach.
- Add ground spinach to the walnut mixture. Mix well using your hands.
- Leave mixture to stand for at least 2 hours so the flavors can blend.
- Form into balls (to make it look pretty) and top with pomegranate seeds.
- Serve warm or cold. Enjoy your greens!
Work found at http://georgianrecipes.net/2013/11/14/spinach-pkhali/ / CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)