Appetizers, Dips and Sauces, Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Three Recipes for Skordalia: Greek Garlic Sauce

Greek garlic dip, skordalia

The 25th of March is the 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 in sale

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Traditional Greek Skordalia (Garlic and Potato Dip)

Greek garlic dip Skordalia
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Skordalia, the popular and so delicious Greek garlic dip is rich, healthy and full of antioxidants. Here are 3 different recipes.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dip, Garlic, Skordalia
Calories: 72kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound (450 g) of potatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes cut in cubes and boil in water until soft, about 15 minutes
  • Once boiled, strain and mix with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • In a food processor process the garlic cloves with a bit of salt until it is a paste.
  • Add ½ of the olive oil in the food processor and continue mixing.
  • Add the garlic paste to the potato and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until oil is absorbed.
  • Add a bit of red wine vinegar for taste, mix well.

Notes

To make skordalia with bread instead of potato 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.
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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.

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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37 Comments

  • Reply Dafna January 4, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    These recipes look great! Any idea how long I can keep this in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

  • Reply Julie April 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    My mom was a terrific cook! Born and raised in Constantinople, she was the queen of mezethakia! Her secret to a silky, white skorthalia, was pignoli nuts. Never, ever, potato! I will be making her bacaliaro and skorthalia on Palm Sunday. Have a Blessed Pascha✝

    • Reply Jodi October 13, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      Julie can you provide the recipe. I just discovered skorthalia it is delicious. the one I had was at a restaurant and it was made with potato. I would love to try yours.

  • Reply Simple Greek Style Beet Salad July 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

    […] along with their greens are traditionally served here in Greece with skordalia, the delicious Greek garlic sauce. So wherever skordalia goes, beets go too. The beets were cut off […]

  • Reply The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About the Mediterranean Diet May 3, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    […] in season. Nuts, mainly almonds and walnuts were used mainly in sweets, and in some sauces such as skordalia (garlic sauce) but they were not a daily habit. Georgia Petraki, a Cretan Nutritionist who […]

  • Reply 5 Unique Vegetables in Authentic Greek Cuisine - Go Greek November 27, 2019 at 3:17 am

    […] In Greece, beets, known as Badzaria, are commonly boiled and served with a garlic sauce called skordalia. No matter how you prepare them, beets are a great addition to your home […]

  • Reply Ferd April 26, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    During the lockdown here on Crete it is not possible to visit any restaurant for the past weeks. No problem, we cook ourselves.
    With your recipe of Skordalia we feel in a restaurant after all.
    Thanks and lots of greetings,
    Ferd, used to be Dutch but since one year full time Greek 😉5 stars

  • Reply Robertjm July 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Where’s the third recipe? I only see two of them. I have a ton of potatoes around the house so going to give that a try!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN July 13, 2020 at 8:08 am

      Hi, If you look at the notes under the first recipe you can see that you can also make skordalia with bread instead of potatoes. So 3 versions: potato, bread or walnuts

  • Reply Greek Evil Eye: 6 Tips to Avert the ‘Mati’ | The Greek Vibe October 16, 2020 at 6:59 am

    […] In any case, I do suggest wrapping it before placing in your pocket and NOT forgetting it in your pocket when you take your jeans off. There’s nothing more exciting than not knowing where that pungent smell is coming from two weeks later when your closet smells like “skordalia”. […]

  • Reply Skordalia and the Greek Pantry | Inspiring confidence in the kitchen and adventures along the way. December 1, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    […] Lately, when I make this skordalia I use a high proportion of olive oil and lemon juice. Which leads to a thinner spread or sauce. Keep the end goal in mind as you make this recipe(or any recipe for that matter)! I like to pair this sauce version of skordalia with white fleshed fish. Such as snapper, grouper, wahoo,etc. Add a roasted vegetable with a decent amount of crunch and you have a complete entree! You can find a more traditional recipe for skordalia here. […]

  • Reply Jimmy December 7, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Excellent! I was a bit worried to try this, but it came out great and delicious! Thanks Elena5 stars

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