Skordalia is a traditional Greek dip, and one of the grand dishes of Mediterranean that use garlic paste as a base. Garlic, olive oil, salt and some form of acid are the constants in all recipes for Skordalia, but the base varies and includes boiled potatoes, nuts, or stale bread. The beauty of Skordalia is in its execution, in the slow crushing and beating of the ingredients using mortar and pestle. This controls the speed of which one breaks down the starch in the bread and yields the perfectly textured base. The Greeks do not use any herbs or spices in Skordalia, and serve it as an appetizer, or a companion to battered fish, grilled meats or steamed vegetables.
And this is where this dish departs from the Greek ritual… —QueenSashy
- Serves 8
old bread rolls (about 10oz), crust removed
medum garlic cloves
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
parsley, finely chopped
dill, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cut the bread in slices, soak it in water, and then squeeze the water out of the bread completely. Set aside.
- Using mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with a bit of salt until it turns into a paste.
- Begin to add bread and continue to pound until all bread is incorporated. (Alternatively, you could use hand mixer at low speed. Using high speed will get the job done faster, but will also create gummy Skordalia).
- Add the lemon juice and vinegar and continue to mix. (I start with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of vinegar, and sometimes add more, depending on the taste.)
- Slowly add olive oil, drip by drip and continue to mix until all the oil is incorporated and the dip is smooth.
- Let the dip sit for a while, the intensity of the flavors will change, and then if needed adjust the seasoning and acidity.
- Split the dip into three equal parts. For the first dip, mix in the parsley. For the second dip, mix in the dill. For the third dip mix in the paprika and a pinch of pepper. Serve with warm pita bread and feta cheese, or as companions to grilled meats.