Skordalia is a traditional Greek dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s a thick, garlicky paste made with mashed potatoes, garlic, olive oil, and raw almonds. Skordalia is a popular dip for vegetables, pita bread, and seafood, and it can also be used as a spread for sandwiches.
The origins of skordalia can be traced back to ancient Greece. It was often served with fish and was considered a staple food for fishermen. Over time, skordalia evolved into a popular dish that is now enjoyed throughout Greece and in many other parts of the world.
This dish may appear to be mashed potatoes, but it is quite different. Skordalia is essentially mashed potatoes with a Greek twist. Unlike traditional mashed potatoes, skordalia incorporates copious amounts of garlic. In fact, the word "skordalia" comes from the Greek word "skorda," which means garlic. The skordalia recipe below also includes almonds, which add a subtle nutty flavor that sets it apart from the usual mashed potato fare.
We’re welcoming Sarah Randall of Cook.Can.Read to share her favorite skordalia recipe.
Skordalia is a Greek garlic puree traditionally made with potato or bread crumbs. It will become a staple in your kitchen when you see how easy it is to make and how versatile it is to use. My version replaces some of the potato with almonds, providing a texture I love along with a boost of protein. The intense garlic flavor is the most prominent, tempered by fluffy potato, creamy olive oil, and almonds.Fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar add tartness.
Skordalia is often made by hand with a mortar and pestle or ricer. Luckily for us, a Blendtec blender is powerful and efficient enough to mix the ingredients quickly, producing a thick, creamy puree in a matter of seconds, before the sauce has time to even think about getting pasty. Your Blendtec blender is the ideal tool to make skordalia, saving you time, energy and mess.
So what do you do with skordalia? In short, just about anything! It can be used like hummus as a dip for raw vegetables (bell peppers and radishes are my favorite) or crackers, or as a spread in wraps and sandwiches. It's wonderful with turkey and rotisserie chicken. Traditionally served with salt cod cakes and other fish, roasted meat like lamb or beef, and boiled or roasted vegetables like beets, zucchini and eggplant, skordalia provides a burst of flavor to almost any meal. In some regions of Greece, skordalia is served as an entree; in others, it's presented as an accompaniment to a salad.
Try it at your next dinner party or gathering as an appetizer with crudite, alongside roast beef or with a warm beet salad. You're sure to get inquisitive looks, enthusiastic comments and many rave reviews.
1 lb russet baking potatoes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup raw almonds
4 large or 6 small cloves of garlic, roughly chopped pinch of kosher salt
Place the potatoes whole into a pot; cover with cool water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and cook for 20-30 minutes, until a fork easily pierces the potato. Drain and cool until you can handle. Use a spoon or paring knife to remove the skin, then mash the potato coarsely with a fork. The mashed potato should be warm when you proceed.
In your Blendtec Twister jar, add the olive oil, water, red wine vinegar or lemon juice, almonds, and garlic, in that order. Cover with the Mini Gripper lid and blend on Speed 4 for about 15 seconds or until you have a smooth sauce. (You will see some flecks of almond and feel some texture from them, and that is okay.)
The mixture should look very thick and creamy. Add the mashed potato to the Twister jar and use the Spectacula spatula to push it down into the garlic puree. Put the Mini Gripper lid back on and pulse for 4-6 seconds (about 4 pulses) to incorporate the potato. Serve immediately
More Greek Dips for Greek Cuisine Lovers
Greece is renowned for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, and its selection of dips is no exception. In addition to skordalia, there are a plethora of Greek dips to explore. Tzatziki, for example, is a yogurt-based dip that features cucumbers, garlic, and dill. This refreshing dip is perfect for pairing with grilled meats or veggies. Another popular Greek dip is taramasalata, which is a creamy dip made with fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, and bread crumbs. Melitzanosalata, a dip made with roasted eggplant, garlic, and olive oil, is another favorite. Finally, hummus, although not originally Greek, has become a staple in Greek cuisine and is often served as a dip alongside other meze dishes. All of these dips are bursting with Mediterranean flavors and are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
About the Author
Sarah Randall writes Cook.Can.Read, exploring international cuisines and flavors against a backdrop of locally-sourced ingredients. She grew up baking cookies with mom, watching Nana make Swedish dishes for the extended family, and picking strawberries on her grandfather’s farm in Maine. Sarah loves to find new dishes to make for her husband and friends in Seattle and is an avid reader and maker of pickles and jams.