Skordalia (Greek Garlic-Potato Sauce)

Skordalia (Greek Garlic-Potato Sauce)

Skordalia takes its name from skordo, or “garlic.” Different versions of the sauce are thickened with potato or with bread and nuts or with all three. Some recipes call for only vinegar, while others, such as this one, also add lemon juice. Serve as an accompaniment to fried fresh fish or salt cod, cooked beets, fried zucchini or eggplant, and greens.

3/4 C. blanched almonds or walnuts, optional

1 pound baking potatoes or new potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

8 cloves garlic

Coarse salt

3 T. red wine vinegar, or to taste

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

3/4 C. virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


If using the nuts, preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds or walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven until toasted and fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and chop. Set aside.  Meanwhile, bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potato pieces and boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well, return the potatoes to the pan and place over high heat for 1-2 minutes to evaporate the moisture, turning them to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth. Set aside.  In a mortar, combine the garlic with a little coarse salt and mash with a pestle until puréed. You should have about 2 T. puréed garlic.  Stir the garlic into the potatoes and, using a whisk or fork, beat in 1 T. of the vinegar, half of the lemon juice and half of the olive oil. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining 2 T. vinegar, the remaining lemon juice and olive oil, and the nuts, if using. Season to taste with more vinegar, if needed, and the salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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