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Cilantro Sauce
  -   Kindzis Satsebela
4 cups  
4 hr  
This incredibly delicious sauce (you'll want to eat it by the spoonful) is used as a dressing in bean and potato salads, over roasted eggplant slices and boiled potatoes, as well as with grilled meats and chicken. Being raw, it is perishable, but see Note-8.

Apricot Leather (1)  
Water, boiling
-- Herb Mix
Cilantro (2)
Herbs, mixed (3)
Scallions (4)
Walnuts, shelled
-- Finish items
Lemon Juice
Pepper black
Chili Powder (5)
Oil (6)
Prep   -   (2 hrs (see Note-7)
  1. Soak APRICOT LEATHER in 1/4 c boiling water until very soft (30 to 45 minutes depending on thickness), then stir to make a purée.
  2. Stem all Herb Mix items and chop fine (the best device for chopping any quantity of herbs is the Mezzaluna.
  3. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Mix with Walnuts.
  4. Squeeze Lemon Juice.
Run   -   (20 min)
  1. Spin Garlic and Walnuts in a food processor, but not too fine - it should not become a sticky paste.
  2. With the motor off, add Apricot Purée, Herb Mix, and all Finish items.
  3. Process for a few seconds, then pour in Oil, in a slow steady stream with the motor running.
  4. Let stand about 2 hours for flavors to blend. Serve cool, but not cold.
  5. Packed in a tightly sealed jar this sauce should keep up to a week in the fridge, but see Note-8.
  1. Apricot Leather:   This is thin sheets of dried apricot pulp and juice. It is widely available in markets serving an Armenian or Middle Eastern community (at least it is here in Southern California). If you can't get it, used dried apricots, soak them in the hot water and purée them.
  2. Cilantro   You want to have at least 5-1/2 ounces chopped. Given the size of bunches we get in produce markets here in Southern California you need to buy about 1-1/4 pounds.
  3. Herbs:   This is a mix of Parsley, Dill, Basil and Tarragon (go fairly heavy on Parsley and light on the Tarragon). You want to end up with at least 6 ounces, and will have to start with about 14 ounces. You can use a fair amount of stem with the Cilantro and Dill, but not so much with Basil and Parsley, and no stems with Tarragon.
  4. Scallions:   Measure is chopped fine. Use both white and green parts. These are hard to chop fine, so split them lengthwise into halves or quarters before slicing thin crosswise and chopping. You'll want to start with about 5-1/2 ounces.
  5. Chili:   Here you can control the hotness of the sauce, by varying the amount or type of chili. I use 1/4 t of Indian Reshampatti, which is fairly hot and has good flavor. This provides just noticeable hotness. For details see our Chili Page.
  6. Oil   The pattern recipe calls for Walnut Oil, but I have my doubts (maybe it was a restaurant recipe). In Georgian households, Walnut Oil is precious, hand massaged out of pounded walnuts by a special technique, and used very sparingly. That yellow oil is a far cry from our purified walnut oil. The main oil of Georgia is Sunflower Seed Oil, which is reported to be available in much better quality than ours. Olive oil, also very costly to a Georgian household has been suggested as a good substitute (pure olive oil, not virgin to replace sunflower oil). For this recipe I have used 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 3/4 cup Pure Olive Oil quite successfully.
  7. Time to Make:   Nearly all the time is for de-stemming and chopping herbs. I'm really fussy about my herbs, so I pull the leaves by hand and chop fine using a Mezzaluna. I don't use a food processor because by time they get the chopped herbs even, they are too fine. You may mechanize this process if you choose to accept the disadvantages.
  8. Comments:   If four cups seem like too much, make half a recipe, but I'm sure you can find plenty of non-Georgian uses for it! How about with scrambled eggs for breakfast? It survives freezing fairly well, but for good flavor, needs to be warmed to room temperature or warmer before using. I seal it in a 2-mil plastic bag and freeze flat and thin so I can use a Chinese cleaver knife driven by a soft faced mallet to cut off however much I want.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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