I served this at one of our Seders a few years ago. An elderly neighbor attended with a caretaker from Georgia. The caretaker, not Jewish, was thrilled to find a native dish on the table. From there she got into politics. She clearly loved Stalin and sighted him everywhere. But anyway Phali is a terrific and unusual appetizer. You can substitute chard or spinach.


Young Beet Leaves in Walnut Sauce. Adapted from Copeland Mark’s SEPHARDIC COOKING


1 pound young beet leaves and stems steamed for a half hour

1 cup shelled walnuts

1 tsp salt or to taste.

4 cloves garlic minced

1 or 2 jalapeño chili , seeded, to taste

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 medium onions, chopped fine, yield on cup

¼ cup fresh dill

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Cut the beet leaves and stems into ¼ slices. Process the walnuts, salt, garlic and chili into a paste.

Toss the beet leaves, coriander, onions, dill and vinegar. Mix well. Serve with a good crusty bread as an appetizer.

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