Monday, November 22, 2010

Georgian Cilantro Sauce

It's a pesto!  It's a chutney!  No, it's a sauce! 

It's amazing. 

Apparently it's traditionally eaten with grilled meats.  But that didn't stop Amey at vegan treats and eats from eating it on red kidney beans.  So far I've put it on bulghur, on chickpeas, on pizza, and on pasta, and I'm thinking it might go on everything except ice cream.  It's savory and tangy and slightly spicy all at once.  I brought it to a make-your-own-pizza party this weekend and it served so so well in the place of pizza sauce.  I think that next I will put it on a tofu scramble.

I made a few changes: I used olive instead of walnut oil, and I went easy on the raw garlic.  I know it's good for you but it always makes my mouth feel funny, thirsty.  I also skipped the mixed basil-dill-tarragon (Jon's was out of basil - wtf?!).   I think that next time I'll also throw in some mint; some recipes for this type of sauce do call for mint, and it seems intuitive anyway, given the chutney connection.

Oh, and another reason why my grocery store is cooler than yours:
It is one pound of dried apricot paste.  It was $2.99. 

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Georgian Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients
2 oz dried apricots
1 c boiling water
1/3 c shelled walnut
2 garlic cloves (or more to taste), minced
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
2 c cilantro leaves (2 good-size bunches), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c parsley leaves (1 1/2 bunches), coarsely chopped
note to self: add some mint next time
5 TB olive oil
1/2 cup soaking water from the apricots, as needed 

Instructions
1. Place the dried apricots in a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Let sit for at least an hour, more if possible, even overnight. Drain over a measuring cup and retain 1/2 cup of the soaking water.
2. In a blender, chop walnuts and garlic.  Add the drained apricots, the lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne to the bowl, and process to a puree. Add the cilantro and other chopped herbs, and puree, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides several times. Combine the walnut oil and soaking water from the apricots, and gradually add it to the puree. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let sit for one hour. Taste and adjust salt. Makes at least 1 1/2 c.

1 comment:

janet said...

How did I miss this the first time around? This looks great! :)