Skordalia me Kapari

Caper Potato-Garlic Dip

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    6 to 8

    servings (about 2 cups )

Appears in

ONE OF THE most popular meze in Greece is skordalia, a light-textured dip of garlic pounded with soaked bread, potatoes and almonds, flavored with extra-virgin olive oil and plenty of fresh lemon juice. Skordalia can be made more or less pungent by varying the amount of garlic used. Similar sauces are found in Spain, southern France, Italy and the Middle East.

This particular version, from the island of Tinos, is flavored with capers. Hanging from cliffs and rocks over the sea, caper bushes grow in abundance all over the Cycladic islands. Their fragrant buds, collected in early summer and cured or 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 crudités. 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.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed day-old whole wheat bread, soaked in water until softened
  • 3–5 garlic cloves, quartered
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed and drained
  • 3–4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup blanched whole almonds, soaked overnight in water and drained
  • 1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • Salt (optional)

Method

Squeeze the soaked bread to extract the excess water and place it in 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 tablespoons of the capers and 3 tablespoons 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 salty enough—and more pepper and/or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon capers over the skordalia before serving.

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