Beetroot and Skordalia – a velvety Greek Garlic Potato Dip
by eat in my kitchen
If you feel like garlicky mayonnaise but you’re pushed away by its oily heaviness, cook some garlic and potatoes, then throw them in a blender, and you’ll end up with skordalia. This popular Greek dip has a similar smooth texture if you pulse it – it becomes thick, sticky, and starchy. The added olive oil adds a Mediterranean touch and taste to it and makes it feel like velvet. If you use a potato masher, which is more common, it will be more chunky, like mashed potatoes, so it really depends on what kind of dip you’re after. I was in a mayonnaise kind of mood so the blender was my tool of choice.
Skordalia is a new discovery for me and I don’t know how I never heard of it or tasted it before. I love Greek food, I’ve been to Greece, and I ate my way through countless Greek restaurants, but for whatever reason, I never had it on my plate until now. So I’m keeping up and made an extra large batch of it. To balance the sweetness of the potatoes and garlic, I brought in some earthy flavours: Beetroots cooked in their skins along with a bay leaf. Peeled and still warm, I cut the purple roots into wedges, and served them with generous (!) amounts of my creamy dip. Delicious!
Beetroot and Skordalia – a Greek Garlic Potato Dip
medium sized beetroots, unpeeled, 2
bay leaves 2
fine sea salt
For the skordalia
peeled potatoes, diced, about 240g / 8 1/2 ounces
large garlic cloves, unpeeled, 6
olive oil 4 tablespoons
fine sea salt
For the topping
fresh thyme leaves, about 2 tablespoons
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
Cook the beetroot along with the bay leaves in plenty of salted water on medium heat for about 40-50 minutes or until tender. Check the roots with a metal skewer, they should almost feel soft. Rinse under cold water and let them cool for a few minutes before you peel off their skins. Cut each beetroot into 4 wedges.
In a medium pot, bring the potatoes in plenty of salted water to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Drain and quickly rinse with cold water. Peel the garlic and add, along with the potatoes, to a blender or food processor. Add the olive oil and a little salt and pulse until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Divide the beetroot wedges and skordalia between plates and sprinkle with thyme, flaky sea salt and crushed pepper. Enjoy cold or warm.