Garlicky Skordalia

published Oct 29, 2021
Skordalia Recipe

This puréed potato dip packs a garlicky punch.

Serves8

Makesabout 2 1/3 cups

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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Skordalia (Greek garlic mashed potato dip) in a wooden bowl with a chive garnish and pita bread on the side
Credit: Perry Santanachote

This irresistible puréed potato dip is rich with olive oil and packs a garlicky punch that goes best with simple foods, such as raw vegetables, poached seafood, grilled meats, or, my personal favorite, salt cod fritters. I’ve also been known to down cupfuls of skordalia with nothing else but pita. If you’re a fan of garlic, you might find yourself doing the same.

A mortar and pestle is traditionally used, which gets the dip velvety smooth and extracts the full potential of the garlic. It also manages to process a small amount of garlic more effectively than a food processor. However, a smaller food chopper would make good work of these ingredients.

What Is Skordalia?

Skordalia is a Greek dip that consists of a good deal of garlic paste, olive oil, and lemon juice that is thickened by puréed potatoes — or sometimes finely ground almonds or breadcrumbs. 

Is Skordalia Served Hot or Cold?

This dish is traditionally enjoyed at room temperature or slightly chilled. Skordalia will thicken and tighten up when cold, but will soften up again once it returns to room temperature.

Credit: Perry Santanachote

How to Serve Skordalia

Because skordalia has a strong flavor, serve it with bland foods or anything that goes particularly well with garlic.

Can I Use Less Garlic than the Recipe Calls For?

Skordalia is meant to be very garlicky — it’s the type of dip that bites back. If you need to tone it down, reduce the amount of garlic to 4 cloves. Or try this little Greek trick to lessen the intensity of garlic: Boil the garlic in milk for 5 minutes, before processing it.

Skordalia Recipe

This puréed potato dip packs a garlicky punch.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces

    Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium)

  • 1/4 bunch

    fresh chives

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 6 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2

    large egg yolks

  • 1 cup

    olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Peel and dice 10 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes. Place in medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until very tender and a fork easily pierces the flesh, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop 1/4 bunch fresh chives until you have 1 tablespoon. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon until you have 1 teaspoon; juice the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons. Place 6 peeled garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a mortar and pestle and smash until smooth. (Alternatively, finely mince the garlic, sprinkle with salt, then run the side of the blade of a large knife over the garlic until a paste is formed.) Transfer to a medium bowl.

  2. When the potatoes are ready, drain and rinse under cold water to remove the excess starch. Process the potatoes through a food mill or ricer, or mash with a potato masher (which won't be as smooth).

  3. Whisk 2 large egg yolks into the garlic paste one at a time, and whisk until creamy and pale yellow. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine. While whisking constantly, pour in 1 cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream until the mixture is thick and emulsified, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to combine.

  4. Transfer the skordalia to a serving bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and garnish with the chives.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: You can substitute 1 cup instant potatoes for the Yukon gold potatoes. Prepare them according to package instructions (you won’t need more than 1 ounce) except omit butter and use only water for the liquid.

Storage: Store skordalia in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The garlic flavor might intensify with age.