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Recipes

Pkhalis Trio – Vegetable and nut terrines

Pkhalis Trio – Vegetable and nut terrines

Pkhalis (or fkhalis or mkhalis) are extremely popular Georgian appetizers. They are made using a walnut paste, to which cooked or raw vegetables are added. They can also be served as-is or accompanied by bread. Another wonderful option is to turn them into simple, healthy and delicious hors d’œuvres, when served on grilled Pita bread or crackers, or even as a stuffing in little tomatoes. 

Walnut paste

Spinach phkali

  • 1 bunch large spinach 
  • 1½ cup walnut paste 
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped  
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 4 Tbsp pomegranate seeds

Beet phkali

  • ½ lb beets
  • 1½ cup walnut paste  
  • ¼ cup dill, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp savory (opt.) 
  • 4 Tbsp Walnuts, to decorate 

Egplant phkali

  • 2-3 6-inch eggplants 
  • ½ to 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups walnut paste 
  • ½ tsp hot chili, chopped
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped (opt.)
  • 4 Tbsp pomegranate seeds, to decorate

Walnut paste

  1. 1

    Grind the blue fenugreek, marigold petals and chili.

  2. 2

    Place the nuts, chopped onion and garlic in a food processor with the spices. Grind roughly.

  3. 3

    Add finely chopped herbs to the food processor, then add vinegar and salt. Mix well to make a homogenous paste.

  4. 4

    Tansfer the paste into a bowl and continue mixing by hand; the result should be sticky.

Spinach phkali

  1. 1

    Cook the spinach for 2 minutes in salted, boiling water. Strain into a colander then refresh under running cold water. Using your hands, squeeze the spinach into balls until the water is completely extracted.

  2. 2

    Finely chop the spinach using a knife and place in a bowl with the nut paste and herbs. Mix with your hands until a homogeneous paste is obtained.

  3. 3

    Taste and correct the salt and chili, to taste.

  4. 4

    Make 1½-inch balls and add on a few pomegranate seeds to decorate.

Beet phkali

  1. 1

    Cook the beets in boiling water until a knife pierces them easily, but the beets are still somewhat firm.

  2. 2

    Refresh, then peel the beets using latex gloves if you don’t want to stain your hands.

  3. 3

    Grate the beets, using the large frame on the grater.

  4. 4

    Put the grated beets in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix by hand. Taste, and adjust for salt.

  5. 5

    Make 1½-inch balls. Make a small dimple on top and garnish with a walnut and dill weed.

Eggplant phkali

  1. 1

    Remove the tails then cut the eggplants lengthwise into 3/8-inch thick slices.

  2. 2

    Heat a large pan on medium. Pour oil into the pan then add the eggplants.

  3. 3

    Slowly brown the eggplants on either side. Drain on a paper towel.

  4. 4

    Repeat and add a little more oil if necessary, until all the slices are cooked.

  5. 5

    Mix the nut paste in a bowl with the chili and basil.

  6. 6

    Place the eggplant slices on a cutting board and spread a heaping spoonful of paste on each slice. Roll and place the cylinders on a plate. 

  7. 7

    Decorate with pomegranate seeds.

Pkhalis can also be molded into a terrine or pâté and served on a plate. Decorate with pomegranate seeds, sliced nuts or freshly chopped herbs. 

Vegetable and nut terrines

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