Calves Liver Salad

This salad was inspired by a popular Georgian salad, served at weddings and family get togethers. I have posted it on this blog in Greek since 2016 and have been meaning to re-shoot the pics to post it in English for some time now, as I've re-made a few times it when I found good calves liver here in London. Of course, whenever I made it again, it was ready by the time the daylight had vanished, so I never got to take new pictures! However, it's always a crowd pleaser, especially with my children who don't eat liver so easily.

This salad is too good not to share here, and liver-lovers will definitely appreciate a new liver-based dish that's light and refreshing. The original Georgian recipe is made with boiled liver, walnuts, garlic, onions, cilantro and pomegranate. This version was made with what I had in hand mostly, I added some extra greens-spinach, mint and some sweet baby green peppers from Crete I had at the time.
I omitted the pomegranate as it wasn't in season, but it does go with this salad perfectly!

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter
30min prep & cook time

  • 2 calves livers, around 500g
  • 500g fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 large green pepper or 6-8 smaller sweet green peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 100g butter
  • 1-2tsp balsamic vinegar cream
  • 1 tsp all-spice/pimento whole or 1/2tsp powdered
  • 1tsp white vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper, paprika to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Place the walnuts on a roasting tray lined with parchment paper. When the oven is ready, roast the nuts for 5-7 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let cool. Save 1/3 cup of them aside and grind the rest. Break the 1/3 cup to coarser pieces with your hands-that will be saved for garnishing the salad.
  2. Prepare the vegetables. Cut coarse stocks-if any-off the spinach, wash and let it dry. Place it in the salad bowl. Slice the onions to thin slices. Core and cut the pepper to thin slices. Mince the garlic.
  3. Save some whole cilantro leaves-to garnish-and finely chop the rest, as well as the mint.
  4. In deep saucepan, place the liver and enough water to cover it up. Add the white vinegar and pimento and bring to a boils for 5-7 minutes. Remove any froth forming on the waters surface while boiling, with a perforated spoon. As soon as it's ready, remove and place on a cutting board. Cut into small cubes.
  5. Prepare the salad dressing: mix together the olive oil and lemon juice and dress the spinach-do not mix, just leave to sit in the salad bowl.
  6. Using a large, deep frying pan, melt the butter over high heat and add the onions, peppers and garlic. Sautee for 2-3 minutes and add the liver, balsamic cream, salt and pepper. Sautee for 3-4 more minutes and add the walnuts and paprika, cilantro and mint. Mix, sautée for 1 more minute and remove from the stove. 
  7. Place the liver mix at the centre of the spinach salad, garnish with the rest of the walnuts and cilantro leaves, mix and eat!


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