Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Make walnut butter and then incorporate it into a recipe. One can thicken sauces with it or mix it in with vegetables. It can become a secret ingredient in soup! However, my favourite way to use walnut butter is to make walnut skordalia with it! Walnut skordalia is a Greek walnut-garlic sauce. It's simple to put together and very, very tasty. 

Skordalia is a popular Greek side dish which can be made with potatoes or walnuts. Its name comes from one of its key ingredients, skordo, which means garlic. Skordalia usually accompanies fried fish or fried/boiled vegetables. 

Walnut skordalia is a regional variation. It's made in Northeastern Greece, in the provinces of Macedonia and Thrace. My maternal grandmother, who was a true and proper Northeastern Greek, always made her skordalia with walnuts, never with potatoes. Of course, it helped that grandfather had planted walnut trees near one of his vineyards. There was always an ample supply of walnuts at their home. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle were used to pound the walnuts and garlic. Today, the food processor makes this job much easier.

Make a walnut butter: Place two cups of shelled, roasted walnut pieces in a food processor, and pulse until the walnuts are finely ground. 


In addition to the walnut butter you will need:
1 cup of stale bread pieces without the crust
2 garlic cloves. Can use fewer or more than two: how much depends on social engagements and digestive tolerance
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
8 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Soak the bread in a bit of water. When it has softened, squeeze out the excess water. Discard the water and place the bread in a food processor.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, including the walnut butter. Process until well blended.
  3. Taste, and if the mixture feels thick, thin it out by adding a little water and then processing. In the end, the skordalia should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise.
  4. Remove to bowl, cover and chill. Serve as an accompaniment to fish or vegetables.
***Walnut skordalia also makes a delicious dip or appetizer. Serve it in a bowl surrounded by toasted bread rounds, or top toasted bread slices with walnut skordalia and shrimp: use sliced French bread sprinkled with olive oil and toasted, then topped with skordalia and with shrimp which has been seasoned with lemon juice, black pepper and parsley.