Skordalia (from the word skordo, σκόρδο, meaning garlic), is a thick sauce somewhat similar to aioli, made with garlic, olive oil and some type of bulking agent such as potatoes, walnuts, or bread. It is a favorite accompaniment to salt cod (bakaliaros), and other types of fish. It's also served with fried or boiled vegetables. It's tantalizing and delicious, but beware: the amount of garlic used is plentiful, so don't eat skordalia if you're planning a romantic tête-à-tête after dinner. My grandmother, as I have often been told, always made her skordalia by using just walnuts to bulk it up. I am used to the more popular version made with potatoes. Here's how I make skordalia:
3 potatoes (should add up to little more than a pound)
4 or 5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped fine
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
• Peel the potatoes, cut them in pieces and place them in a saucepan. Cover them with water, add some salt and boil them until soft. Drain but reserve some of the water to use if necessary.
• In a food processor puree the potatoes with the garlic and walnuts. (Today most everyone uses a food processor, but I remember as a child watching an aunt prepare the garlic for skordalia by mashing it up in a beautiful marble mortar and pestle. I was completely fascinated and I wanted that mortar and pestle for my toy box! She never gave it to me... even though she was generally very kind to me... Well, it's fun to reminisce).
• Combine the oil, vinegar and lemon juice and add them slowly to the potatoes, mixing all the while. The skordalia should be thick and soft. If it is too lumpy add some of the reserved water to soften it.
• Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
• Skordalia should have a garlicky taste. Use as much garlic as you are comfortable using. No more and no less.