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Spinach Cilantro and Walnut Salad (Ispanakhis Pkhali)

A specialty dish from the Republic of Georgia

Minced spinach salad with a walnut and cilantro sauce - a specialty dish from the Republic of Georgia.


  • 1 1/2 Pound fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 Cup walnuts (raw or toasted)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 3/4 Cups cilantro (about 3/4 bunch)
  • 1/4 Cup parsley (about 1/4 bunch)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable or walnut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (red wine, white, or tarragon)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon (Georgian spice mix - can be substituted with 1/2 teaspoon ground blue fungreen, 1/2 teaspoon tumeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
  • Pomegranate Seeds (as a garnish)


1. Wash the spinach and place in a pot with boiling water until it wilts (about 3 minutes).

2. Drain the spinach into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

3. When the spinach is cool, squeeze out the water with your hands, working in small batches. Then place aside.

4. Add the walnuts to a food process and pulse until it is coarsely chopped.

5. Add the remained of the ingredients (except the spinach) and blend until smooth.

6. Remove and add the spinach to the food processor (a grinder can also be used) and process until it is finely chopped.

7. Add the walnut mixture and blend until smooth.

8. The salad can be served warm or cold. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds.