Category: Basic Recipes and Sauces
Difficulty: Easy but labor intensive
Skordalia is a Greek garlic sauce that appears around the Mediterranean in different guises. In Greece it is used for a variety of foods including served with beet salad and batter-fried salt cod. The Palestinians and Lebanese use a version with garlic and olive oil, called thum bi’l-zayt, for baked chicken. It is related to the Catalan allioli and the rouille of Provence. Cooks in Macedonia and Cephalonia (Kefallinía) often add walnuts, and older recipes base the skordalia on almonds, leading me to believe that this is the Greek version of the Arab and Turkish tarator sauces that themselves may owe something to Byzantine food.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 3 cups
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
1. In a large pot, place the potatoes in cold water to cover by several inches and turn the heat to medium. Once the water begins to boil, about 20 minutes, continue to boil until a skewer glides easily through the center of each potato, another 25 to 30 minutes. Peel the potatoes once they are cool enough to handle. Pass the potatoes through a food mill or colander and slowly whip in the cream.
2. Pound the garlic in a mortar until mushy. Add the garlic to the potatoes, mixing well. Soak the bread cubes in a little water until sodden, then squeeze the water out. Pass the bread through the food mill or colander. Blend the bread, potatoes, and garlic together with a fork in a mixing bowl.
3. Slowly pour the olive oil and vinegar in a steady stream as you continue beating with a fork until the mixture has the consistency of a thick mayonnaise. Do not do this in a food processor because the potatoes will become gummy in their over processing. Season with salt and refrigerate until needed.
Variation: Add chopped almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts after mashing the garlic.