One of the most popular mezes in Greece is skordalia, a light-textured dip of garlic pounded with soaked bread, potatoes and almonds It is flavoured with extra-virgin olive oil and plenty of fresh lemon juice. The pungency varies depending on the amount of garlic you use.
This version comes from Aglaia Kremezi's cookbook " The Foods of the Greek Islands - Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean". For the 3 or 4 people who visit my blog on a regular basis you will have heard me mention Aglaia and her husband Costas Moraitis who run their cooking school on the island of Kea in Greece. Keartisanal is a must for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the Greek culture and life style for 8 days. Go to the Greek section of this blog and you will hear about my vacation endlessly!!!!
Aglaia says,"This particular version, from the island of Tinos, is flavoured with capers. Hanging from cliffs and rocks over the sea, caper bushes grow in abundance all over the Cycladic islands. The fragrant buds, collected in early summer and cured and dried in the sun, give a unique taste and aroma to all kinds of island dishes. Although skordalia traditionally accompanies salt cod fritters, it can also be served with crudites. With the addition of a few tablespoons of water or broth, it becomes a sauce for fried, poached or steamed fish or for grilled or steamed vegetables, such as broccoli or potatoes. It is also excellent as a dressing for cooked beans and is often served with fried eggplant, fried zucchini, or Chickpea Patties".
This recipe is dedicated to Deb at Deb's Key West Wine and Garden . Skordalia is one of her husbands favourites. She is also a "caper-nut" like me and loves capers in many dishes. Aglaia's version of Skordalia is absolutely delicious and a must try!!!
Skordalia me Kapari (Caper Potato-Garlic Dip)
2 cups cubed day-old whole wheat bread, soaked in water until softened
3 - 5 garlic cloves, quartered
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed and drained
3 - 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds, soaked overnight in water and drained
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
freshly ground white pepper
Squeeze the soaked bread to extract the excess water and place it i a food processor. Add the garlic and process into a smooth paste.
With the motor running, add the oil, a little at a time. Add 3 T of the capers and 3 T of the lemon juice. Add the almonds and pulse a few times, until they are coarsely ground.
Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and fold in the potato. (do not be tempted to use the food processor for this; the potato would become gluey.) Season with white pepper. Taste and add salt, if needed - the capers are usually salted enough - and more pepper and/or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Sprinkling the remaining 1 tablespoon capers over the skordalia before serving.
Makes 6 - 8 servings (about 2 cups)
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