09 December 2016

Georgian Eggplant with Walnuts and Garlic

I returned from Georgia with a pretty good stash of contraband; largely wine and cheese but I also picked up some Georgian spices: marigold and blue fenurgeek. The massive amount of cheese I'll address later and for reviews of all those lovely wines check my website ParMieux Wine Adventures because today we're talking about cooking with those spices.

I love Georgian food. If it weren't for the copious amounts of cilantro they use then I'd say Georgian food was pretty darn perfect.While I was in Tbilisi I made sure to buy a lot of the spices I need to make Georgian food at home, namely dried marigold and blue fenugreek.

I really have absolutely no idea what blue fenugreek is but it's a vital ingredient in my favorite Georgian side dish-the eggplants with walnut and garlic paste. This appetizer, served cold, is an amazing melding of flavors. I particularly like to garnish it with pomegranate seeds which, while entirely optional, really add just an extra pop of flavor that brings it all together.

I can, and have, eaten an entire plate of these on my own. I believe that on our recent visit KMac and I ordered this at least once a day. So when I got home with my stash of Georgian spices and wine it seemed like the perfect thing to pair with the Tsitska wine I brought-and it rather was quite a perfect pairing!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! They're a little fussy to make, especially if you use the pomegranate seeds, but so worth it!

Georgian Eggplant with Walnuts

  • 500 grams of eggplant (5-ish eggplants)
  • 250 grams walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried blue fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon dried marigold
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • oil
  • water
  • pomegranate seeds (optional)
  1.  Using a food processor, blend the walnuts and garlic. In a medium sized bowl combine the walnut garlic mixture with the spices, salt, and vinegar, Add enough water to bring the mixture to a paste-like consistency (5 or tablespoonsful).
  2. Slice the eggplants fairly thinly. In a frying pan heat the oil and fry on both sides for 3-4 minutes. Place eggplant slices on paper towels to absorb the extra oil.
  3. Once the eggplant slices have cooled, spread the walnut mixture on half the eggplant, fold (in half) then spread more walnut mixture on top.
  4. Garnish with fresh cilantro if you're crazy or pomegranate seeds. Serve cold.