Coriander and walnuts – who would have thought the zingy freshness of coriander would pair well with the earthy brown flavours of walnuts? It seems they do, with a plethora of recipes around for pastes and sauces containing the two ingredients.
This recipe is a little different than most. I first saw in The Guardian newspaper. It includes dried apricots. The sauce is both slightly sweet from the apricots, a little peppery and fragrant from the herbs with a pinch of heat from the chilli and, well, garlicky. This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine. It works beautifully as a marinade – try rubbing it on vegetables before baking or BBQing. Stir into cooked red beans. Marinate some tofu in it. Glaze cooked carrots with it. Put it in your soup. And it is rather good with roasted summer vegetables too. It is great included in your salad dressing. Spread it on your salad sandwiches. You will constantly find more and more ways to use this glorious paste.
My most favourite way to eat it is as a dip. It is non-traditional, but I have to let you into a secret. This is very good with some Middle Eastern flatbread. Put it on your next mezze or tapas plate.
According to Georgian legend, God took a supper break while creating the world. He became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below. The land blessed by Heaven’s table scraps was Georgia.
Georgian of course refers to the country in the Caucasus rather than the southern U.S. state or the period of time when knights roamed England.
Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Caponata Siciliana, Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Coriander Paste, Zhoug, the Middle Eastern Coriander Paste and Dip, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney. Also similar is an Apricot Chutney that can be made with dried apricots.
Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander. Coriander Fritters are pretty good too.
You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here and here. Perhaps also browse all of our Pastes – we have some good Chilli pastes indeed. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Summer recipes.
Georgian Coriander and Walnut Paste
This recipe was seen in The Guardian, and it cites Georgian Feasts as its source.
50g dried apricots
250ml boiling water
30g shelled walnuts
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of cayenne
a large bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp roughly chopped herbs (including a mixture of either or all basil, dill and parsley)
5 tablespoons walnut oil
reserved apricot soaking liquid
Pour the boiling water over the dried apricots and set aside to plump up for at least 1 hour. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.
Whizz up the garlic in a blender until beginning to form a paste. (The small blender bowl that comes with the stick immersion blender is perfect for this.)
Add the walnuts and continue to blend until well combined with the garlic.
Add drained apricots, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Blend to a paste.
Add the coriander and other herbs, continue to blend until it reaches a consistency you like. (I prefer mine still a little coarse.)
Add the walnut oil and a little of the soaking liquid, depending on how runny you want the sauce. Give it another pulse in the blender.
Set aside for an hour to allow the flavours to develop. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Don’t forget to leave it for an hour before use – if you can!
recipe notes and alternatives
It works beautifully as a marinade – rub it on vegetables before baking or BBQing. Stir into cooked red beans. Marinate tofu with it. Use it to glaze cooked carrots. Stir it in your soup. And it is rather good with roasted summer vegetables. It is great included in your salad dressing. Spread it on your salad sandwiches. Eat as a dip with flatbread.