Beets with Cherry Sauce (Charkhlis Chogi)

Beets with Cherry Sauce (Charkhlis Chogi)

These wonderful beets are simultaneously sweet and tangy. In Georgia, cornelian cherries are used, but our tart domestic cherries provide similar savor. Chogi is usually eaten warm or at room temperature, but I like it best as a refreshing salad, lightly chilled. Serves 2 to 3.

1 pound beets
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon paleo oil
1/3 cup tart dried cherries
10 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced cilantro or dill
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Scrub the beets but do not peel. Bake until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, saute the onion in the oil until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Simmer the cherries in the water until very soft, about 15 minutes. Force through a sieve or food mill, adding additional water, if necessary, to make 1/4 cup of thick sauce.

Comments: Forget food mill. A mini-prep works better. Use 1/2 amount of water, or else don't cover pot with cherries. It's too watery.

When the beets are ready, peel and slice them thinly. Place in a bowl and add the cooked onion and cherry sauce. Stir in the minced herbs and salt.

Note: Chogi tastes best when served the same day it is made.

Adapted from: The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia by Darra Goldstein.
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