THE GEORGIAN SUPRA
In Georgia, you never sit down to an empty table. Especially when entertaining guests, the tradition is to host a supra, a long dinner party where the dining table is covered with an assortment of colorful dishes to share before the meal starts. Vegetables dressed with walnut paste, fermented flower buds and chiles, sliced cheeses, and the country’s iconic cucumber-and-tomato salad are there to get the party going. They’re joined by bowls of steaming chakapuli stew with tarragon, stewed beans, roasted wild mushrooms, and khachapuri—an irresistible cheese-filled bread. The idea is to wow your guests with abundance. To throw a supra yourself, start preparing a day or so ahead, making the sauces and condiments first. Then move on to stews and beans, doing the slow cooking ahead of time but adding the fresh herbs or walnuts just before serving. That leaves party day for the fresh vegetable dishes and decorating a stunning supra table. See p. 86 for the recipes to get you started.