Georgian Cuisine - Vegetables and Greens
Georgia is a fertile country in which vegetables were widely used as food. The abundance of meats on a Georgian table is always accompanied by considerable quantity of vegetables and greens. The majority of vegetable dishes is cooked with string beans, eggplants, cabbage, beets, tomatoes. They can be raw, boiled, baked, fried, stewed, salted and marinated. Georgian cuisine lists dozens dishes from eggplants which are boiled, baked, stewed and fried and then mixed with various spices and seasonings. The icon dish in any Georgian feast is lobio (string beans) which is cooked differently in various parts of Georgia. Various pickles and marinades are famous too: marinated pepper, tomatoes, cabbage (tsnili).
Not any feast in Georgia can do without a vast amount of various greens. Greens are used in food all year round and are served for breakfast, lunch and supper. Depending on a season, it can be parsley, fennel, ramson, mint, lettuce, basil, savory, estragon other greens. Greens are often accompanied by garden radish, radish, whole tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
Mkhali is an original vegetable salad (with one basic vegetable) spiced with an original seasoning. Cabbage, beet, spinach, sweet pepper and onions can be used as basic vegetables for mkhali. The seasoning necessarily includes walnuts, wine vinegar, garlic, coriander, red pepper, parsley greens, and salt. All vegetable are thermally processed. They are boiled or baked then crushed and mixed with the seasoning. The combination of boiled or baked vegetables with fresh spicy greens and nuts creates a special taste distinguishing mkhali from other vegetable dishes.
Lobio is made from boiled string beans with seasonings. The most widespread and invariable components for seasoning are onions, vegetable oil and wine vinegar. Besides, they can add tomatoes, walnuts, hard boiled eggs, cheese. They also put coriander, parsley, celery, leek, mint, savory, basil, and fennel. Dry spices such as black or red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, suneli and saffron are also used.