Skip to Content

Georgian Spinach Cilantro and Walnut Salad – Ispanakhis Pkhali

Georgian Spinach Cilantro and Walnut Salad – Ispanakhis Pkhali

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ispanakhis Pkhali is a traditional Georgian dish that belongs to the category of “pkhali,” a term used for various vegetable-based spreads or salads in Georgia. Pkhali dishes are often served cold and are a popular part of Georgian feasts and celebrations.

Other versions of pkhali are made from beetroot, leeks, eggplant, mushrooms, cabbage, or red beans. But the vibrant color and intense spinach flavor of Ispanakhis Pkhali made it one of our favorites. 

This Georgian spinach salad absolutely saved our waistlines during our time in Tbilisi, Georgia. In this city, there is a bakery and a cheese shop on almost every corner, and when you put them together, some of the best cheese bread (called Khachapuri) that we’ve ever eaten.

Ajarian Cheese Egg Khachapuri

Ajarian Cheese and Egg Khachapuri

Georgians are also very fond of plump pasta dumplings filled with spiced meats, cheese, or potatoes (khinkali). They are all absolutely delicious. To curb our insatiable appetite for rich Georgian food, we began ordering the spinach salad (Ispanakhis Pkhali) as a starter.

The salad is a minced blend of cooked spinach along with cilantro and walnuts and then sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Granted there are plenty of calories in walnuts, but combined with the spinach, the salad is very filling. It can be eaten alone, or piled on top your favorite bread.

Add the recipe to your collection on Pinterest or bookmark for later!

If you ever get the opportunity, try it with some Georgian fresh baked stuffed cheese bread (Adjerian Khachapuri). It’s absolutely fantastic. 

In this version I’m using a Georgian spice blend called khmeli suneli, which is very common to the area. The name “Khmeli Suneli” translates to “dried spices” in English.

The ubiquitous Khmeli Suneli  (Photo Credit)

The blend features ground blue fenugreek, coriander seeds and ground marigolds, among numerous other herbs and spices. The unique mixture offers a complex and well-balanced flavor profile with herbal, citrusy, and slightly floral notes.

The flavor is unique and I’d suggest looking for it in Russian specialty stores or online. I’ve included a substitute spice blend that will also work well.

Yield: 2 cups, 2 – 4 servings

Yield: 4 servings

Georgian Spinach Cilantro and Walnut Salad Ispanakhis Pkhali

Spinach Salad Pkhali

Georgian Spinach and Walnut and Cilantro Salad - Ispanakhis Phkali. A refreshing chopped spinach salad from the country of Georgia.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  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

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 232Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 54mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 5gSugar 11gProtein 4g

Related articles about travel in the country of Georgia and Georgian Cuisine and Recipes that you might enjoy:

Skip to Recipe