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My Version of the Georgian Spring Salad “Gazapkhuli”

  •         BABY ROMAINE/BOSTON LETTUCE – 1 bunch
  •         GREEN APPLE — 1 whole apple
  •         ENGLISH CUCUMBER — ½ of whole piece
  •         GREEN ONIONS FEATHERS — 4 pieces
  •         DILL/CILANTRO/PARSLEY — ½ bunch in total
  •         LEMON – 1 whole piece
  •         WHITE WINE VINEGAR — 1 tablespoon (or to taste)
  •         SUNFLOWER OIL — 2 tablespoons (or to taste)
  •         GARLIC – 1 clove
Optional Ingredients and Modifications (I use all these ‘extras’ in my recipe, but it would taste fine if you don’t have access to these or don’t like them)
  •         RED RADISH – ½ bunch
  •         SUGAR SNAP PEAS – to taste (about 15 pieces)
  •         ADDITIONAL SPICES – to taste ( HONEY, CORIANDER; BLUE FENUGREEK = the ‘secret ingredient’ – Georgian spice Utskho Suneli)
1. Chop the lettuce up into ½ inch strips 
2. Core and julienne the apple and set aside, squeezing ½ of the lemon over all the pieces t o keep from browning
3. Peel and julienne cucumbers
4. Julienne the radishes (if using)
5. Finely chop the green onions and snap peas (if using)
6. Finely chop the herbs (you may use any or all of dill/cilantro/parsley, but I typically only use cilantro)
7. Combine all of the above in a salad mixing bowl
8. Using mortar and pestle, grind the pink and white peppercorns (ok to use pre-ground white pepper if you don’t have whole peppercorns)
9. Add the ground pepper mixture, coriander, finely chopped (or pressed) garlic, fenugreek (if using), and ground black pepper to the salad
10. Prepare the dressing by whisking together sunflower oil, wine vinegar, the rest of the squeezed lemon juice, and honey (note that you can substitute agave syrup or sugar for honey, but the recipe also works without any sweetener; note that I recommend white balsamic vinegar)
11. When ready to serve, dress the salad and mix everything up; add salt at the end.
Some notes:
  •         I have tried many incarnations of this salad, and I think it always comes out good. But the true ‘secret ingredients’ here are: the fenugreek and some sweetness from something (like the sugar snap peas)
  •       Julienning is really tedious and time-consuming, but it definitely pays off. Definitely do not use any food processors.  If your chopping results in larger pieces, that’s ok.
  •         What’s not traditional about this version of the salad? Adding lettuce and additional sweeter like honey.  Try it without those ingredients for a more traditional version.
  •     Add grilled chicken for a full meal!
Pictures in rough order of operations (first one is of fenugreek spice):


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