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Skordalia (Garlic Potato & Olive Oil Mash) on Grilled Pita--A Garlicky Double-Starch Delight

Posted Jan 20 2012 4:08am
You might look at the picture of skordalia and wonder why on earth I am serving mashed potatoes spread on pita bread. Skordalia is a creamy potato dish from Greece and it is a garlic-lover's dream. The first time I ever tried it was a friend's house for dinner where her Greek mother served it as part of a mezze platter along with warm grilled pita bread. I have preferred it that way ever since. Now and then, a little starch-on-starch works for me. ;-)

We are cooking White as Snow foods over at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week and it seemed like a good time to rustle up some garlic and potatoes from the pantry, and whip up a batch of that creamy garlicky goodness from Food From Many Greek Kitchens . If you are iffy about garlic at all, this is not your dish. Eight cloves of raw garlic and the juice of two lemons give it a intense flavor. (Not a bad thing in my book!) The creaminess of the potatoes and silky olive oil, even it all out. Pungent yes, but oh so very good. Serve it as a pupu (appetizer), or as a side dish with grilled fish or other protein.

Skordalia (Garlic Potato and Olive Oil Mash)
Food From Many Greek Kitchens

(Makes a Nice Bowlful)

1 lb 5 oz unpeeled potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 2 lemons
about 3/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes in their skins in salted water until soft. While they are cooking, crush garlic cloves with a little salt to a puree using a mortar and pestle. When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, peel off their skins and pass the potatoes through a ricer into a tall bowl. Add the pureed garlic, and pour in the lemon juice and olive oil. Beat briskly with a wooden spoon until amalgamated and smooth. Season well with salt and pepper to taste; it needs a good amount of salt to bring out the flavors. Stir in 3 tablespoons or so of hot water or stock.

Notes/Results: Easy and delicious. You may smell (and smell like) garlic for a few days after making this, but you'll enjoy it. ;-) I have had skordalia made out of bread and with almonds pureed and blended in, and it sometimes has a slightly sticky texture reminiscent of library paste. This simple version was creamier and I liked the softer texture. I used my grill pan to toast up some lovely pita bread and slathered the warm dip on top. A winner for me that I will make again.

You can check out all the other White as Snow dishes by going to the IHCC post and following the links.
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