Classic Skordalia (Garlic Spread)
There are a handful of regional skordalia recipes throughout Greece, some made with a potato base, others with a bread base, others still with almonds or walnuts or a combination of starch and nuts. The most common version of skordalia on Ikaria is made with a bread base, as in the recipe below. There is another, older recipe, for skordalia made with taro root, too. When you make this with leftover, really good sourdough bread the dip is rustic and pleasantly sharp. It’s the perfect foil to the crispy fried vegetables and cod. Make sure to use really good Greek olive oil and a pinch of natural Greek sea salt, both available on my online store here.
- 4 2- inch/5-cm-thick slices stale country bread preferably sourdough
- 5 – 6 garlic cloves to taste
- Sea salt to taste
- ¾ to 1 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 4 – 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. Run the bread under the flowing tap water to dampen, then squeeze dry and crumble. (You can remove the crusts, if desired, before dampening.)
2. Place the garlic in a large mortar and, using the pestle, pound with 2 pinches of salt to form a paste. Slowly add the bread, olive oil, and vinegar, alternating between each and seasoning to taste with salt as you continue to pound. The end result should take about 10 minutes and should be dense and spreadable.
Try sprinkling crushed or chopped nuts and seeds over the skordalia for a nice textural contrast.
Adapted from from my forthcoming book: Ikaria - Lessons in Food, Life & Longevity from the Island Where People Forget to Die (Rodale, Oct. 2014)