Friday, March 26, 2010
Georgian recipes: walnut and egg salad
In the early days of my foodblogging (we're talking about summer 2005 here), I ended up defending the joys of Georgian cuisine on Kuidaore's picture-perfect blog (note we're talking about this Georgia and not that Georgia here!). I'm still wondering where I got the courage from!! Still, we eat Georgian food with some regularity at home -simply because it's tasty and different, and I'll be sharing some Georgian recipes with you over the next few weeks. I've recently given two cookery classes focusing on this fascinating cuisine, and I do hope you enjoy the recipes as much we enjoyed the finished dishes!
There are already some Georgian recipes on Nami-Nami. I wrote about fried Suluguni cheese earlier this week, and there's a recipe for khatchapuri cheese bread and another for chakhohbili chicken and herb stew. Today I'm sharing a recipe for Georgian Egg Salad (azelila), seasoned with lots of fresh herbs and ground walnuts. It's creamy and flavoursome, and a great way to use up all those boiled eggs that you have over the Easter holidays! Walnuts are essential for this dish - as well to many other dishes characteristic to Georgian cuisine.
We served this on lightly toasted ciabatta-slices (see photo below) - not terribly authentic, but this salad is excellent on crostini, I think.
If you are interested in learning more about Georgian food, then I can highly recommend Darra Goldstein's excellent "The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia" (on Amazon.com/on Amazon.co.uk). Many of the recipes I'll be sharing are based on her book, though not exclusively. There is also a nice chapter on Georgian food in Nigella Lawson's "Feast: Food that Celebrates Life" (on Amazon.com/on Amazon.co.uk).
Georgian Egg Salad
Serves 4 to 6 (or more, if served as canapés)
4 large eggs
4 Tbsp butter, softened
4 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts (pestle and mortar is best)
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
2 Tbsp finely chopped spring onions (white parts only)
a pinch of salt
pomegranate seeds, to garnish
Hard-boil the eggs, then cool quickly under cold running water and peel. Put into a medium-sized bowl and "chop" until mushy with a fork. Using the fork, work in the softened butter - you want a reasonably creamy mixture.
Add the fresh herbs and finely chopped walnuts, stir until combines. Season with salt.
Place into a bowl and garnish with ruby pomegranate seeds.