26th March 2019
One of the many, many reasons why Georgia is so popular here at the Wild Frontiers office, and indeed with our clients, is the food.
Perhaps better known as one of the world’s oldest winemaking areas, Georgia’s colourful cuisine is not to be missed. With subtly spiced but flavourful stews, hearty, cheesy breads and fresh vegetables and salads, Carla Capalbo, award-winning food and wine writer and photographer, described it as ‘exotic yet familiar’.
Carla’s book, Tasting Georgia: A Food and Wine Journey in the Caucasus, is more than just a recipe book. It’s a personal travel guide from her journey across Georgia and the stories she gathered from the hospitable food and wine producers who generously invited her to their dinner tables.
It became our book of the month last year when it also won a prestigious award, and now Carla has allowed us to share one of the delicious recipes from her book.
If you’d like to get a taste of Georgia for yourself, check out our group tour - Tastes of Georgia: Culinary Tour with Carla Capalbo.
“This recipe is a cornerstone of much Georgian food, particularly in the central and western parts of the country,” says Marina. “Each family has their own favourite recipe for it but the basic ingredients are good fresh walnuts, herbs, garlic and some spices. It’s used on all sorts of vegetables, stirred into stews, and is a delicious condiment to have in the fridge to liven up hard-boiled eggs, cheese or cold meats.” Use this as the basis for your own signature walnut paste, adding extra chilli, garlic, salt, herbs or spices to taste.
In Georgia tradition decrees that the walnuts should be pounded slowly by hand with the garlic and spices in a mortar and pestle, but a good processor makes an easy second choice if you don’t have a good mortar.
Store the paste in an airtight jar in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, pressing a piece of plastic wrap right onto the paste to stop it oxidizing. You can also freeze this paste in small batches for later use.
For a great dipping sauce combine 120ml / 4fl oz / half cup fresh pomegranate juice (the juice of about two pomegranates with 120ml / 4fl oz / half cup of the paste.