Easy Skordalia (Greek garlic dip)
Skordalia (or skordhalia/skorthalia) is a traditional Greek garlicky dip or puree. Greek: σκορδαλιά also called αλιάδα, aliada/aliatha) skordo meaning garlic basically tells you what the star of this recipe is. Besides a lot of garlic, this dip is thickened by puréed potatoes — or sometimes finely ground almonds or breadcrumbs. It also contains olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. The resulting spread is a traditional mezze with a pronounced garlic flavour and delicious texture that you keep going back for. It’s very often serves with battered-fried fish, with fried vegetables, such as eggplant and zucchini but apart from fish it goes well with roasted meat as well. I love to serve this creamy garlic dip with fresh warm pita bread or even with my Greek fish cakes.
I love dips and sauces. And the Greeks are famous for them. Many of them include fresh herbs and citrus (primarily lemon), which add bright, clean flavor. I think this is why Greek food is so irresistibly delicious! I may be partial but I think that I’m not the only one who feels that way. No meal is complete without tzatziki, Greek feta cheese dip (Tirokafteri), Greek Fava recipe (yellow spilt pea puree dip) or Greek Eggplant Dip (Melitzanosalata). Dips can make the most mundane meal into something special and jazz up a few fridge finds to make an impromptu party platter within a matter of moments. This skordalia is one to definitely add to your dip list!
Ingredients in skordalia
This recipe is simple and uncomplicated and only requires very few ingredients. Some versions require bread or bread crumbs or nuts. This one doesn’t but feel free to add them into the processor for extra texture if you wish. Here is what you will need for this recipe:
- Garlic - definitely a must in this recipe. I use raw garlic but if raw garlic is too pungent for you, try using roasted garlic instead.
- Potatoes-russet or Yukon gold - more tips below on choosing the right ones for mashing and tips on cooking them
- Lemon juice or white wine vinegar - either is fine I just prefer lemon juice. Freshly squeezed is always best.
- Olive oil - use one that you enjoy the flavour of because it will enhance the flavor of the dip and I like to drizzle extra over top too. Help add flavour and gives this skordalia dip it’s rich creamy luscious texture.
- Fresh parsley - this is an optional ingredient and not really traditional in skordalia - I love to add it to make the dip herbier and even more flavourful. You can skip it in the dip and just use it to garnish if your prefer
- Optional add ins -The most popular base for Skordalia is potatoes. However stale bread is a great option too. Simply soak coarsely chopped bread in water for 5-10 minutes, then squeeze and add to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
- Adding nuts to this garlic and potato dip is a popular choice as well. Walnuts or almonds are especially delicious here. Soak the nuts for at least 1 hour, then drain, and add to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
Choosing the right potato & tips for making skordalia :
Potatoes contain different levels of starch. If you don’t choose the right potato, you wont get the same results. Russet potatoes or yukon golds are your best choice!
- Do not cut your potatoes TOO small when boiling. 2-3” pieces are ideal.
- Do not overcook your potatoes! They should not be dissolving in the water. Fork tender is preferred!
- Do not over mix! A potato ricer, masher is best! Limit the mashing as much as possible.
- Rinsing the diced potatoes before and after cooking removes surface starch, reducing the gumminess of the potato purée.
- Blending the garlic with vinegar or lemon juice reduces its pungency while preserving its flavor.
How to make skordalia dip
- Cook the potatoes. Then drain reserving some or the cooking water
- Make the garlic herb puree. In a food processor blend the garlic, lemon juice and parsley if using until paste like. Then add the olive oil and salt and pepper. Add a few of the cubes of potato to the purée and blend again until smooth.
- Mash the remaining potatoes in a large bowl with the garlic purée until desired consistency adding some reserved cooking water as needed to reach the desired consistency
- Chill for flavours to build or serve immediately drizzled with more olive oil and garnished with fresh herbs, scallions or chives and chopped olives.
What to serve with skordalia
This potato garlic spread is best served with warm pita bread or a loaf of fresh bread. But ox can be served with grilled meats, grilled veggies or even fresh veggies and the perfect addition to your mezze platter. It’s great with seafood.
- 1 lb/450 g peeled and cubed potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 4–6 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 4 tbsp olive oil (plus more for serving)
- salt, pepper to taste
- Kalamata olives
- chopped parsley, chives or mint
- grilled or pan fried flatbread or pita (homemade or store bought)
- Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
- Place garlic cloves, parsley and lemon juice in food processor or mini chopper. Process until finely minced and smooth and paste like. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and blend again to emulsify.
- Add 3-4 cubes of cooked potatoes to the food processor, and blend together with the garlic mixture.
- Transfer drained potatoes to a large bowl along with the blended mixture. Using a potato masher to mash potatoes, until creamy and fluffy with the garlic mixture. Drizzle in a little of the reserved cooking water at a time as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Serve immediately drizzled with olive oil, and top with chopped herbs and olives. Or for better flavour chill for 1-3 hours first before serving.
- Make ahead & Storage: Skordalia can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container in the fridge for you to 3-5 days.