Skordalia (Greek Potato and Garlic Dip) Recipe

Posted in on the 14th September, 2012


  • 3 large russet potatoes (each 8 to 10 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced garlic, or more to taste
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds or walnuts, toasted, or 1/5 cup finely chopped, pitted Kalamata olives, optional
  • Freshly ground pepper

Adding to the eating pleasure is the big mound of skordalia (also spelled skorthalia or skordhalia) on the plate. Simply put, skordalia is a marriage of mashed potatoes (thick puree), garlic, olive oil (some places add an egg yolk) and lemon juice. The heavy-breathing emphasis is on the garlic. This is a dish that will throw your tongue against the wall of your mouth. Your taste buds run for cover when you barely breathe the word “skordalia”. You’ll love it, and you’ll love this Greek Salad recipe.

No one else loved you for days and days after, but you just couldn’t tear yourself away from this great dish.

Skordalia, the garlic-perfumed puree of potatoes that accompanies fish and shellfish in Greece, becomes scurdalia in Sicily and salsa del oblio (the forgotten sauce) in Spain. In addition to the garlic and almonds, poppy seeds and a dash of hot pepper are added.

Greek Skordalia dip recipe Directions:

Place potatoes on a baking sheet, pierce each with a knife, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until done, about 1 hour.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop out the pulp and put them through a ricer or mash with a potato masher (do not use a food processor).

With the flat side of a knife or in a mortar and pestle, crush garlic to a fine paste, adding a dash of salt. Add garlic to potatoes and mix well. Beat in lemon juice and olive oil, mashing together until finely pureed. If puree is too thick, thin with a little water or part lemon juice and water to taste. Fold in ground nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Original Greek Skordalia recipe yield: 6-8 servings

Some tips for making superior Skordalia:

There are several variations of skordalia, some regional and some due to taste and ingredients. Greek Salad recipe for another variety of Skordalia – Skordalia makedonitiki: feta and whipped boiled potato spread. A favorite especially if it is light and creamy. Sometimes this dip is very heavy from whipping the potatoes too much.

Skordalia can be made with bread crumbs, nuts and olive oil, but I like the version made with potatoes best. You may add either toasted almonds, toasted walnuts or the tang of Kalamata olives to this rich and garlicky puree. Instead of lemon juice, you may use vinegar for a slightly sharper taste. Serve with cooked prawns or scallops, steamed or fried. A crisp white wine from Italy or Greece will cut the richness of the puree and slice through the garlic – good acidity is a must.

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