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Ispanakhis Pkhali

Pkhali is a traditional Georgian dish of chopped and minced vegetables, made of cabbage, eggplant, spinach, beans, beets and combined with ground walnuts, vinegar, onions, garlic, and herbs

  • 2 pounds fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 cup packed)
  • 6 tablespoons walnut oil or other delicately flavored oil
  • 4 teaspoons tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish (arils; optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, stirring to submerge the leaves and make room for more. Once all the spinach has wilted and the stems softened, about 3 minutes, drain in a large colander. Rinse the spinach with tap water until the greens feel cool, then squeeze out as much water from them as you can. (This is most effectively done by squeezing it, a chunk at a time, between your hands or in your fists.)
Grind the walnuts in a food processor to the consistency of coarse sand. Add the spinach, garlic, cilantro, oil, vinegar, coriander, salt, fenugreek, black pepper and cayenne pepper; puree until smooth.
Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed. Refrigerate for several hours or up to overnight.
Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, if using, just before serving.


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