Wednesday, 22 December 2010


For Greeks, the garlicky puree called skordalia is a traditional accompaniment to fish. It can also be served as a dip with sliced bread or crudités. There are several ingredients that can form the base of skordalia: walnuts, potatoes, bread, almonds. One ingredient all versions have in common is the addition of garlic, plus garlic, and some garlic. My stomach likes for me to tone down the amount of garlic I use in skordalia. You can use as much or as little as you like: it all depends on personal preference and social engagements. A good rule of thumb is that garlic taste intensifies, therefore a subtle garlic flavour will become more pronounced as the sauce is waiting to be served. Caper and almond skordalia is mostly eaten in the Greek Islands. The version here is truly delicious (I mean it)!!! It's based on one by the wonderful cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi.  


2 cups cubed day-old whole-wheat bread, soaked in water until softened
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained; reserve one tablespoon of capers for garnish
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup blanched whole almonds, soaked overnight in water and drained
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Salt is optional in this recipe

  • Squeeze the excess water from the soaked bread and place it in a food processor. Add the garlic and process until it forms a smooth paste. Add the capers and process until smooth. With the motor running, add the olive oil, a little at a time. Add the lemon juice and the almonds and pulse to coarsely chop.
  • Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and fold in the mashed potato. (Do not add the potato to the food processor: it will turn gluey). Season with pepper and, if necessary, salt to taste. If you like add more lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  • Stir in a few tablespoons of water if the dip is very thick. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of capers.
  • Best served with fish. Skordalia is the standard accompaniment to salt cod fritters which are traditionally eaten during Lent, and in particular on the feast day of the Annunciation (25 March), which typically falls during Lent season. Greeks will wait all year for a dinner of salt cod fritters and skordalia that's to be had on that day!