Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Greek treat for garlic lovers: skordalia

Mediterranean meze tables are full of wonderful dips and spreads, each more scrumptious than the next. Hummus, baba ghannoush, muhammara... Same goes with the Greeks. But forget tzatziki and give taramasalata a day off - I have something new for you! If you love garlic, you are going to adore this. Skordalia, ladies and gentlemen!

During my Tour of Turkey a couple of years back I got to know a rather entertaining Italian fella;  the moment I got off the plane, actually. His spontaneity was in a league of its own. As was his painfully poor judgement: the very first night he set out to find drugs ("just look at that man! He looks like someone who would at least know someone who'll have some!") A couple of days later he'd decided to move to Istanbul and had even found an apartment there.

"The neigbourhood is full of cops, all the time!" he complained one night we were having dinner on the rooftop of one of the many, many meze restaurants of Nevizade Sokak. "You know, because the house is full of beaches." I and an American girl I'd befriended looked quizzically at each other, trying to keep up. "You know: beaches!" No, we didn't. 

"Ah, perhaps he means beeches?", we, ever the ethymological experts wondered, though couldn't quite figure out what kind of an anarchist tree it would take to take over an entire house to a point even police were helpless. "No, beaches!!!"", the Italian kept repeating, increasingly frustrated by now. Then it hit us. "Bitches?" The Italian's face melted into a smile. "Yes, yes, beaches!" The boy had managed to take up residence in the local red light district.

Well, now I actually do have a house full of beaches. As I unpacked my suitcase upon returning from my Greek getaway I noticed I've accidentally also brought back enough sand to build a beach of my own. Getting rid of that will be the next stop on my to do- list. Right there along with laundry marathon and photo editing endeavour. But you know what? I managed to get reacquainted with my kitchen first!

Skordalia is a Greek potato and garlic dip. Much like the country itself, it's cheap and doesn't take much work. And hey, there's no need for crucifixes after feasting on this baby - the vampires won't come anywhere near you!

It only requires a couple of ingredients (that I bet you already have in your fridge!) and it's gluten-free too. You can make it well in advance, too. Have it as it is with, say, toasted pita bread, as a dip for veggies or as a dressing for grilled or fried fish. Or meat. Or anything else your heart/ stomach desires. 


500 g potatos 
4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on their size and your palate)
1,5 dl cooking water from the potatos
1,5 dl (olive) oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
1-1,5 tsp salt (depending on how much salt you add into the water) 

Peel the potatos, place in a pot and add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Season with salt. Boil until very tender. Drain, reserving the water.

Measure into a food processor all of the ingredients apart from potatos and salt. Start with 4 cloves and then add more according to your taste. Blizz until smooth, then add potatos. Blizz again until velvety. Check the taste and season with salt. 

Chill and serve.

If you want more mellow garlic taste, use roasted garlic cloves (see here for how-to) or boil the cloves in milk for about 5 minutes,

PS. For a home-made pita bread recipe, just click on here!




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