Sunday, October 18, 2009

Georgian Cilantro Sauce

Driving many miles in a car this summer, we listened to a lot of Public Radio along with favorite CD's such as Jimmy Buffet, Norah Jones, and Delbert McClinton. One PR program was named "The Splendid Table." The topic for the day was "Georgian Cilantro Sauce." The recipe is from Martha Rose Shulman's series "Recipes for Health" in The New York Times. Quoting Ms. Shulman, "Years ago I found an intriguing recipe for a sauce similar to this one. I love it, but it wasn't until I read Dara Goldstein's The Georgian Feast, from which this recipe is adapted, that I realized this sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine, often served with grilled meat, chicken, vegetables or grains."

Well, that is all I needed to hear. This is not Georgia, USA. This is the country of Georgia which lies between Asia and Europe. I made the sauce this morning to serve with a pork roast today. The apricots have been soaking since last evening.

Georgian Cilantro Sauce

2 ounces dried apricots
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup shelled walnuts (1 ounce)
2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste) halved
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne
2 cups cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed basil, tarragon and dill
5 tablespoons walnut oil
1/2 cup soaking water from the apricots

Place the dried apricots in a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Let sit for at least an hour, more if possible. Drain over a measuring cup and retain 1/2 cup of the soaking water.

Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. Add the walnuts, and process with the garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 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 with the machine running, gradually add it to the puree. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let sit for one hour. Taste and adjust salt. Serve with beans, chicken, meat or fish, grilled or roasted vegetables or grains. The sauce will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

My photo above shows roast pork, Georgian Cilantro Sauce and roasted potatoes. We both agreed, that this sauce is addictive. I, unfortunately, did not have the walnut oil which is so prevalent in the Dordogne region of France. I used a good olive oil instead. I used the cilantro, parsley, basil and dill and did not use the tarragon. Very surprisingly, each and every one of these herbs, the lemon, the apricots, the garlic; all are very distinct in flavor as you taste this sauce. The lady on the radio said she loves this so much, she simply spreads it on bread to eat it. I will definitely use it on spelt/ferro, a grain we like a lot. I know I will be making this often.


  1. Susan, this looks so delicious! I had a frozen pizza for lunch, which was fine, but the sights of such a lovely gourment meal inspire me to think of my supper now.

    What a wonderful, interesting life you have had! What opportunity the Lord has given you to experience so many lovely places that you can now share with many others.

    Your blog is a gift. And I sense your rich heritage from your pictures and writings.

    May God bless you and keep you.

    In Christ,


    P.S. I live in Huntsville, Alabama, and we have many German restaurants here. Their food is magnificent!

  2. I love the Splendid Table. This sauce looks like a keeper. Glad you are getting settled back in. We have that to look forward to. Called ahead to have Bright House reconnect the TV. Hope all other systems are on go. We have had friends looking out for our place. For some reason it is hard to leave Lake lure this year. I am sure Florida will work it's magic on us again.

  3. Hello my friend...this looks yummy! Just a note, tell the Trout that while driving to Dillon today, we got off to follow the river into Dillon. What a beautiful drive off the Ineterstate. We saw so many fishermen along the way lining the river with their rv's. I'm sure Trout was fishing in that area this past summer. So pretty!


  4. This sounds really yummy! I'm hungry looking at your photo. Delish!

  5. Susan, this sounds like a real winner. I can't wait to give it a try.

  6. This sounds yummy -- yes, we forget that there is "another" Georgia!

  7. Wow, this sounds great, Susan. I love this kind of condiment with meats and am looking forward to trying it.