Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VeganMoFo: Georgian Red Beans with Cilantro Sauce

That's right! Today we are headed to Georgia! What fun. The whole time I was making this meal, Mr. Vegan Eats and Treats kept saying "I've been to Atlanta." Mr. VE&T, though I love him dearly, is one of these special souls who loves to repeat the same joke over and over and over. It's a little crazy, really. Or, crazy-making. Anyhow, to be clear, I mean the country of Georgia, as in Former Soviet Union.

I like to listen to that radio show called "The Splendid Table." It's a culinary show on NPR, it plays on the weekends. Even though half the time is spent talking about super meaty-meat-meats and cooking baby fingers and milking your pet dog and stinky cheeses and alcoholic delights that I don't drink... somehow the general enthusiasm for food and culinary discovery keeps me coming back for more. So, the other day, I happened to be listening and heard one of the guests talking about Georgian Cilantro Sauce, and how this can be eaten with red beans and it will be magically delicious. Well, she pretty much had me at "cilantro sauce," because I really love cilantro. Plus, beans. Together.

So, I went online, looked up the recipes, and got to work. Now, friends, I have eyes like the rest of you. I can see that this picture is not the most beautiful picture ever. Don't judge a book by its cover! This was such a great little dish! First of all, lets discuss this cilantro sauce. It's got dried apricots and cilantro and mint and dill and walnuts and lemon juice... and it is freaking amazing. Of course, I totally cut down the oil and just used a little more of my apricot-soaking-water, and it was still great. Fortunately for me, I now have about a cup of this magical goo stored away in my freezer. I think it would be great with baked or grilled tofu. Or on toast even. Or maybe instead of toothpaste.

Meanwhile, you need to cook your beans. The beans are cooked slowly, with onions and garlic... so, this recipe does take some time. All in all, I think it takes about 1 1/2 hours*. But only about 15 minutes of that requires much active participation, so it's actually an easy thing to make as long as you're around the house. I'm sure you could just use canned beans, but clearly, the slow cooking with onions and garlic adds a LOT of flavor to your beans. Together with the cilantro sauce (and a few chopped tomatoes), it's a perfectly simple and delightful little meal. The sauce is tangy and intense and is just perfect with the neutral starchiness of kidney beans. I decided that next time Mr. VE&T goes away for a few days I will just make a huge batch of this recipe and gorge on it over and over. As a main dish, I would say this recipe serves two or maybe three. So, next time I will make a quadruple batch! :) I can't wait to make this again!

*I only soaked my apricots for about 20 minutes, I didn't leave the cilantro sauce out for a full hour, etc etc. Modern life takes its toll on traditional cooking methods. I don't have all day, after all! So it is. Still delicious.


  1. I totally locked on to that recipe too after hearing it on Splendid Table! I admit I haven't made it, but it's booked marked and waiting for the right moment. Yum! And once again, I anticipate your blog everyday and you don't disappoint!

  2. that looks REALLY GOOD. apricots in the sauce, oh my! i just got some walnut oil (from the olive oil store) that smells so divine, so i think i'll make this recipe soon! have you been to that store!!?? it's ridiculously compelling.

  3. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Yummy. I love Georgian food. When I lived in Moscow I lived round the corner from a Georgian restaurant. I was veggie then. If anyone ever veganizes the Georgian cheese bread Khachapouri I will marry them.

  4. I love your MoFo theme so much! I learn a lot and all those dishes you post look super-delicious!

  5. If we all brushed our teeth with cilantro sauce, we'd never have to ask if we had something in our teeth ... because it would just be normal. :-) That dish sounds lovely! Mr. VE&T should totally hang out with my boyfriend. He repeats his joke too ... and laughs at himself over and over again.

  6. Have I told you yet how much I love your blog? Oh, I have? Well, I'm tellin' ya again!!

  7. Anonymous3:05 PM

    I love the Splendid Table and I totally heard that episode! I went right to the website and printed off the recipes, lol. But I have yet to make them...I want to even more after your review!


  8. You had me at cilantro (coriander) sauce too! And I think it looks yummo, the perfect afternoon snack :)

  9. Cilantro sauce and red bean sounds delicious and looks quite festive.

  10. Woah, this sounds awesome! I can just imagine how good the cilantro sauce is.

  11. Anonymous11:43 AM

    wow, this sounds amazingly yummy and unique!

    i keep meaning to go through the martha rose shulman recipes for health archive at the ny times - seems like there are a lot of healthy dishes and the pictures always look good.

    :-) jen e.


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