Skordalia is garlic sauce, commonly eaten with fish or vegetables, or just spread on a piece of bread. A compound of either potato or bread, pureed with garlic, oil, salt, and a dash of vinegar or lemon, skordalia is alive with flavor, extremely popular, and no two versions are exactly alike. While the potato version (my favorite) will give you a fuller, smoother consistency, the bread version, which some prefer, will be a bit thinner and grainier. Some people do half potato and half bread, sometimes almonds or walnuts are added, some folks use white vinegar and some red wine vinegar and some lemon juice, but I’m just going to give you the basic recipe and you can decide, based on instinct or what you have on hand. And a warning, based on experience—although bread skordalia makes up perfectly in the food processor, don’t try it with the potato version unless you are very sure of yourself. Potatoes don’t take well to the blender or food processor, and I’ve had to throw out lots of gummy garlic sauce as a result.
Skordalia Made with Potato
- one large russet potato
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ to 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar—white or red—or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Peel the potato, cut it into cubes, and boil in lightly salted water just until soft. Immediately drain and mix with either a fork or a hand mixer until smooth.
- Mash the garlic—either in a mortar and pestle, or chop it fine and mash with a knife, or put it through a garlic press, or into a food processor—and then add the salt, dissolving it in the garlic mush.
- Add half of the olive oil to the garlic salt, mix, and then add it into the potatoes, stirring until blended. Greeks might use a mortar and pestle for this whole procedure, and I see a lot of recipes for a food processor but I use a fork and stir.
- Tasting it and looking for the consistency that you like, add up to another half cup of olive oil gradually, a tablespoon at a time, mixing until oil is absorbed.
- Add up to a tablespoon or so of vinegar or lemon juice—a little at a time, tasting it till it’s what you want, and don’t forget to check for salt.
Skordalia with Bread
- 2 cups cubed bread—stale or day old, crusts removed
- 1 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ to 1 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Soak the bread for a couple minutes in a bowl of water and drain, squeezing all the liquid from it.
- Add all the other ingredients, beginning with half the oil, and place in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add more oil, a bit at a time, if you want a looser texture, and adjust your salt and acid accordingly.
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