Greek Nutty Garlic Dips

The famous greek skordalia is easy to make!

_1I always buy my garlic plaits from the garlic whole seller on 6, Sarri Street, in Psirri, Athens.

If I’m lucky, I end up learning new recipes of baked aubergines and other garlicky dishes by the old ladies that frequent the store. However, for my garlic dip, I always return to my mother’s recipe, the one I know so well, that’s been tried and tested throughout the years, a family recipe and tradition that, no doubt, each Greek household possesses.

This year, because of the amount of rain and lengthy cold we’ve had, fresh garlic from Laconia has not come out yet, which is unusual (garlic from Euboia and Thrace comes out later on, in plate Spring). So, unfortunately, it’s very likely that, this year, we’ll be eating imported garlic from Argentina or China.

May I also take the opportunity to wish everyone Happy 25th March (National Greek Independence Day) to all with plenty of garlic and crispy fried cod, the fish that ‘sneaks’ its way into the strictly vegetarian forty days that Lent imposes, from Ash Monday to Easter Sunday.

Skordalia with Potatoes and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized potato (boiled well with its peel in salted water and diced)
  • 1 handful almonds blanched and ground well (but not so it becomes almond meal)
  • 6-8 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Mash the potato well in a bowl.
Add the ground almonds and crushed garlic. Mix thoroughly.
Slowly pour in the olive oil and vinegar stirring well (if you’re using a blender, then set on low speed).
Salt to taste.
Place in the fridge to set.

Skordalia with Bread and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 large cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small cup of roughly chopped walnuts
  • 3 slices white bread, soaked well in water and squeezed with a clean tea towel until no water remains
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Blend half of the lemon juice and olive oil, the crushed garlic and a little salt together until it resembles a paste.
Add the walnuts and beat again.
Progressively at the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, soaked and squeezed bread slices and vinegar, and beat once more.
Place in the fridge until it sets.

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