Three Recipes for Skordalia: Greek Garlic Sauce and its Nutritional Value

March 26, 2012
By

Yesterday here in Greece we celebrated Greek National Independence day and also the feast of the Holy Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. Now I won’t go into the stories of these 2 events, but I will discuss what Greeks typically eat on this day…Yes, it’s all about the food.

We continue to be in the fasting period, and this day is one of the few days that fish is allowed. Greeks typically eat fried salted cod, bakaliaro and skordalia (a type of garlic dip). Obviously, fried salted cod doesn’t sound too healthy but if you think about it, it isn’t that bad. Cod is low in fat and calories so even frying it will not really make it excessively calorie rich. A healthier alternative with less salt, is using fresh cod baked in the oven with tomatoes, onions, parsley, olive oil and garlic and, my mom adds raisins, also known as bakaliaro plaki.

As for the skordalia, I have to say that it is definitely potent but delicious. Skordalia is also served with boiled beets, complementing each other perfectly. You can call skordalia a dip, but personally I believe it is too strong to just serve as an appetizer with bread sticks. Apart from the beets, this sauce usually accompanies the cod or is cooked together with pork or rabbit. It needs a strong wine as well.

Skordalia is like other Greek dips; rich, healthy, full of antioxidants, in this case from the garlic and olive oil (and walnuts if you add them). Skordalia can be made with potato, bread or with a combination of walnuts (sometimes almonds) and bread. Potatoes will give you a smoother consistency, while the bread skordalia will be a bit grainier. And no, skordalia does not contain cream. The recipes below are slightly changed versions from the traditional cookbook Hrisa Paradisi.

Salted cod and garlic on sale

Skordalia with Potato

INGREDIENTS

  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound of potatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Peel the potatoes cut in cubes and boil in water until soft.

2. Once boiled, strain and mix with a hand mixer until smooth.

3. In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt until it is a paste.

4. Add ½ of the olive oil in the food processor and continue mixing.

5. Add the garlic paste to the potato and mix with a wooden spoon.

6. Add the rest of the olive oil gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until oil is absorbed.

7. Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste, mix well.

Skordalia with Bread

Follow the same recipe but instead of using potatoes, use 10 ounces of stale bread (without the crust) soaked in water and vinegar. Squeeze well and then mix and work the mixture with the garlic paste with a fork or with your hands until it is well combined. Than add the olive oil gradually.

Skordalia with Walnuts

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2 ½ ounces of walnuts
  • 1 large slice stale bread
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS
1.  Grind the walnuts.

2.  In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt until it is a paste.

3.  Add the walnuts to the garlic paste and mix well.

4.  Soak the bread (without the crust in water and vinegar) and then squeeze well.

5.  Mix the bread with the walnuts and garlic mixture. Mix until smooth.

6.  Add olive oil gradually until olive oil is absorbed.

7.  Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste.

Nutritional Value per 2 tablespoons Skordalia: 72 calories, 0.48 grams protein, 6.5 grams fat, 3.8 grams carbohydrates

Photo #1 for flickr by Klearchos Kapoutsis
Photo #2 by Olive Tomato
FacebookLinkedIn

Tags: , , , ,

16 Responses to Three Recipes for Skordalia: Greek Garlic Sauce and its Nutritional Value

  1. fran fry
    February 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Hi…enjoy your recipes and comments. your recipes for the delicious sounding sauce were passed onto me in us by a cook-friend in japan. i would like to use a couple of your recipes in a future column on cooking lamb. i write a food column called the frying pan for two small papers in pa. will be glad to cedit you and your site. thanks.

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      February 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you, glad you enjoy the recipes. The content on olivetomato is copyrighted-Please contact me directly at elena@olivetomato.com

  2. March 10, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Hi Elena. I have been surfing the web for Skordalia like my mother used to make it. Your recipe looks like the exact one ! Thank you. Can you tell me how to make Pastruma ? It seems the powder for coating the dried meat was a secret ?

  3. Anonymous
    April 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you

  4. Sonny Raguso
    April 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I love Skordalia! I just wanted to pass along another serving suggestion. Here in Chicago, Spring means Fresh Smelt, and I always serve my smelt deep-fried with crispy fried baby Artichokes and plenty of Skordalia. Try it, it’s delicious!

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      April 10, 2014 at 7:04 am

      Thanks for the suggestions Sonny! Skordalia and fish are such a greta combo. Those artichokes sound yummy

  5. Great Website!
    May 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I have a lot of potatoes and was thinking about making a large batch of skordalia. Can it be frozen?

    • Helen Robles
      June 26, 2014 at 3:59 am

      I have refrigerated and safely ate skordalia after two weeks of being refrigerated with no problem!

  6. Helen Robles
    June 26, 2014 at 3:57 am

    I believe my Mom made the skordalia a bit smoother by adding a bit of fish broth from the dry cod. Have you heard of this?

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      June 26, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Hi Helen,
      I’ve never heard of that but it sounds like a great idea because you will also get an infusion of flavor. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Cathie Stamos-Plassmann
    August 23, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Your recipe for Skordalia that includes the stale bread and walnuts is the closest to the one my mom makes. Sometimes she makes it with the walnuts, other times with the almonds, or both. As a child I remember her making it in a large wooden bowl with a very large wooden pestle and I would have the task of mashing up the garlic with the salt, and would then take turns with my mom adding the other ingredients and mashing till smooth. When I got married my aunt gave me a very large wooden mortar and pestle and I would make my own skordalia. We eat it with fried zucchini and also with cooked dandelion greens and a Greek vegetable dish called magerema. Since I grew up with the “bread” version, I’ve never been able to get used to the potato version. The bread version seems to last a long time, although it doesn’t usually last that long around here!

    • Elena Paravantes RD
      August 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for sharing Cathie! I also prefer the bread version!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.