Local Food and Seasonal Ingredients

Pkhali: Georgian Vegetarian Spinach Dip

By Seth Fera-Schanes

Editor’s Note: This recipe was submitted by Apani Georgian Cuisine in Brooklyn and first appeared on The Refined Chef.  

The diverse cultural influences reflected in food and restaurants across the city are astounding.  Taking weekend trips to deeper parts of Brooklyn and Queens pays dividends to the traveler willing to sit on the N train for an extra 20 minutes.  Included below is an example of one of the great dishes available when you are in the city.

Serving size: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1-2 minutes

1 lb. baby spinach
1 cup toasted walnuts
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
½ cup roughly chopped parsley
1 tsp. hot paprika
½ tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground fenugreek
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Photo by Apani

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spinach; cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spinach to a bowl of ice water; drain and squeeze out as much water as possible and transfer to a bowl.

Grind the walnuts( or use mortar and pestle), and mix it with cilantro, parsley, paprika, turmeric, fenugreek, oil, vinegar, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper.

Combine the walnut mixture and spinach together, using your hand. Mix really well, cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, shape into balls about the size of a golf ball and make a small indent in the top of each one with your fingertip. Place a pomegranate seed in each. Serve with bread or toast for spreading. Ideally khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread).


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