This refreshing Georgian salad is served over creamy walnut dressing and is full of nutritious, crunchy vegetables and aromatic herbs. Whole30 and paleo friendly.
After my visit to Ukraine, I have become fascinated with Georgian cuisine. Wait, what? That’s right. Although I love Ukrainian food (try my root vegetable salad called vinegret or my borscht recipe), it was Georgian food that grabbed my attention on this trip.
I have already paleo-adapted the famous Georgian garlic chicken here and I really wanted to make my own version of the Georgian salad with walnut dressing.
Every restaurant serves this salad, which is quite similar to a Greek salad but instead of feta, oregano and olive oil dressing, it’s dressed with a garlicky, walnut dressing and topped with a generous amount of fresh herbs like coriander and parsley. It’s super simple to make (although I put a little extra effort into the dressing) and is really fresh and tasty. I hope it becomes a favourite of yours.
In a traditional Georgian recipe, the dressing isn’t usually blended into a creamy sauce but I wanted to add my own twist and this velvety dressing works really well. If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, feel free to chop the walnuts and garlic finely and mix in with the rest of the dressing ingredients.
If you don’t eat walnuts, feel free to use almonds, hazelnuts or a mix of nuts. Seeds could be used for those avoiding nuts.
I used crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes with a lot of fresh herbs but you can easily bulk it up with salad leaves and add things like radishes, red peppers and carrots. Feel free to add some grilled chicken or salmon for extra protein and make it into a complete meal.
- Punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved (as many as you want, really)
- 2–3 small cucumbers, sliced
- 1 spring onion, white and green parts sliced or chopped
- 6–8 walnuts, chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley and coriander/cilantro, chopped
For the walnut sauce/dressing
- 1/4 cup of walnuts
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can also be used)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seed powder
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Generous pinch of salt
- Extras to serve: olive oil and lemon juice
- Prepare the salad ingredients and set aside.
- Add the walnut dressing ingredients to a blender or a food processor. Puree and process unto a smooth and thick sauce (it should turn a lovely light brown/beige colour, like a hot chocolate drink).
- Now, there are two ways to serve the salad. You can layer and spread the sauce on the bottom of the bowl, which is what I did. Mix the salad ingredients and add over the sauce. This way, when you scoop the salad to serve, you will mix it with the dressing right at the table. Alternatively, mix the salad and serve the dressing on the side or/and drizzle some over the top.
- Finally, drizzle everything with a little olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper.