Georgian Lobio Kidney Bean Salad is a popular Georgian dish that makes a delicious and colorful side dish. Recently, I hosted a birthday dinner for our Georgian friend and served this lobia kidney bean salad, and several other traditional Georgian dishes for a surprise.
Georgian cuisine is unique and nothing like I’ve tasted before. Fragrant ground marigold petals add an almost curry-like scent and turmeric color to dishes. Lots of fresh herbs, especially cilantro, seem to make their way into many dishes. And walnuts appear in almost every Georgian dish I’ve eaten, whether they are chopped and mixed into salads, made into pkhali, or ground into sauces.
Interestingly, our Georgian friend made an observation that Georgian food is similar to Mexican food in some ways. They love their beans and cilantro. However, that’s where the similarity ends as far as I can tell. The flavor profiles are very different.
Double the recipe for this Georgian lobia kidney bean salad for a crowd, or serve this as one of many side dishes for a fun party. I made a double recipe for a Memorial Day party, but made the smaller amount below for our Georgian birthday party.
You can make this Georgian Lobio Kidney Bean Salad ahead of time, but do not mix in the fresh herbs, cheese or pomegranate seeds until you are ready to serve.
Georgian Lobia Kidney Bean Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon harissa or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground marigold petals
- 15 ounces kidney beans cooked, rinsed, drained
- 1/8 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1/4 bunch parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts toasted, chopped
- sea salt to taste
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbed
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pomegranate molasses, harissa, cinnamon and ground marigold.
Add beans, onion, cilantro, parsley, and walnuts. Season to taste with salt.
Top with feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.
Adapted from Kachka A Return to Russian Cooking by Bonnie Frumkin Morales
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