Inevitably, the best time to make this gorgeous garlic dip, skordaliá is at the weekend. The health benefits of garlic always come with a slight social encumbrance – but I, personally, am happy to deal with that on occasions. This is not just a garlic blitz – this is a bit of garlic festival.
Skordaliá is a creamy, velvety concoction – akin to aïoli but totally acceptable to vegans and vegetarians. This is, for me, when traditional Greek cuisine steps into contemporary cooking and totally dominates.
The first thing that I have to say is that skordaliá is not really a side-dish; skordaliá is a delicacy all of its own – the side dishes bring it to the fore.
Traditionally, skordaliá is served with either fried bacaliaró (salt cod) – perhaps not to everyone’s taste – or with thinly sliced aubergines and courgettes, gently fried in olive oil.
I love cooking beetroot ! There is something so magical about the whole process. You have this bunch of red roots – the leaves are always the most visually engaging thing – slightly shiny with all the different shades of deep red and vivid green.
You twist of the leaves – slicing them off is a total anathema, as it causes the beet to ‘bleed’.The roots are scrubbed and boiled whole – you do not peel beetroot. The leaves are washed and cooked whole in a separate pan, until tender. It is the liquid which emerges during the cooking that is most amazing; I challenge anyone to find another liquid so ruby-red and so crystal-clear!
Sliced roots,along with a cluster of braised leaves, dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, topped with a good blob of creamy skordaliá create a totally heavenly experience.
2 medium size potatoes – the more floury kind.
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
100ml cold water
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
180 ml olive oil
Scrub the potatoes and boil them whole, with the skins on, until tender. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and leave to go cold. Mash the potatoes, or, preferably, put them through a ‘ricer’ or’ mouli-legume’. This improves the consistency of the dip.
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz up for a few minutes until you have a thick, creamy sauce.
Serve with boiled beetroot and/or fried slices of aubergine and courgette.
The dip also can be used as a dip for crudités