Skordalia (Greek Garlic and Potato Spread) Recipe

Skordalia (Greek Garlic and Potato Spread) Recipe

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Don't wait for the cold weather to set in to enjoy mashed potatoes: Take a page from the Greeks with skordalia, a garlicky, tangy mashed potato dip. Flavored with olive oil, vinegar, almonds, and plenty of raw garlic, then served chilled or at room temperature, it'll give you a whole new perspective on what mashed potatoes can be.

Why It Works

  • Rinsing the diced potatoes before and after cooking removes surface starch, reducing the gumminess of the potato purée.
  • Blending the garlic with vinegar and/or lemon juice reduces its pungency while preserving its flavor.
  • Yield:Makes about 3 cups
  • Active time: 35 minutes
  • Total time:35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound; 450g), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ounces whole blanched almonds (1/2 cup; 85g)
  • 4 to 6 medium cloves garlic (see note)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90ml) white wine vinegar and/or fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons; see note)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Warmed pita and/or bread, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Set cubed potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Transfer to a large saucepan and cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Season water with salt until it is salty like tears. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until a knife easily pierces potatoes with no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in colander, then rinse with hot running water for 30 seconds.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine almonds, garlic, 2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water, and wine vinegar and/or lemon juice. Process until garlic and almonds are reduced to a paste. Season with salt.

  3. 3.

    Spread potatoes in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven until excess moisture has evaporated and surface of potatoes is dry, about 6 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Using a potato ricer or a food mill with the finest disk, mash potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, thoroughly mash potatoes with a potato masher in a large mixing bowl.

  5. 5.

    Stir in olive oil and almond-garlic mixture until thoroughly incorporated. If skordalia looks like it's breaking slightly (i.e., if the oil does not fully incorporate to form a homogeneous mixture), stir in more cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well, until mixture is emulsified. Season with salt, then garnish with parsley and serve immediately with warm pita or bread, or chill until ready to serve.