Friday, March 26, 2010

Georgian recipes: walnut and egg salad

Georgian egg salad / Gruusia munasalat

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
(Gruusia munasalat)
Serves 4 to 6 (or more, if served as canapés)

Georgian egg salad / Gruusia munasalat

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.

8 comments:

Kalyn said...

I'm intrigued, but if you used mayo instead of butter, would that completely change the character of this?

Tamuna said...

That's so suprising that you know Georgian food! I'm Georgian and LOVEEEEEEEEEEE our food:)

fast recipe said...

Do you know where can I buy spring onions?

Kat said...

yum yum, see tundub nii nämma. super retsept just enne lihavõtteid :D

Pille said...

Kalyn - the aim on butter is to combine the ingredients and make the salad creamier. I guess you could replace butter with mayo or cream cheese to make it SBD-friendly?

Tamuna - Georgian food is delicious indeed :) Recipes for chicken satsivi, mushrooms in cream, beetroot phali etc etc are still coming ;)

Fast recipe - you might want to try your local grocery store, to start with (spring onions = green onions = scallions - depending where you're doing your shopping).

Kat - see on väga nämma ;)

Kasey said...

I LOVE Georgian food! I am excited to see the recipes you'll be posting--my mother's favorite recipes are all Georgian--so rich in flavor.

lobstersquad said...

oooh, exciting. Maybe we´ll be getting a recipe for that adjika I still dream about, from the Georgian lady in Tallinn market?

cowango said...

This is wonderful! I made it last night for dinner but substituted the butter for half mayo and half sour cream (here in the US the butter for a combiner seems strange). I'm sure it tasted slightly different than your version but was really good!