THIS VERSATILE variation on the traditional garlicky dip, which comes from Cyprus, uses yellow split peas instead of the usual potatoes. It can be served as a dip, spread on crudités or Savory Barley and Wheat Biscuits or used as a sauce for fried or grilled fish, poultry or meat, steamed or grilled vegetables or even pasta.
Instead of yellow split peas, you can also make this with dried peeled fava beans or with the same amount of cooked mashed chickpeas or white beans, such as cannellini.
Place the split peas in a large pot, add water to cover by 4 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, skimming often, for 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and simmer for 40 minutes more, stirring occasionally and adding a little warm water as needed to keep the peas covered as they cook. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the peas are soft and almost dry.
Puree the peas with a stick (immersion) blender, or transfer to a food processor and puree. Let the puree cool completely; it will thicken considerably.
In a large mortar, grind the garlic with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt into a smooth paste. Add
In a large bowl, combine the garlic mixture, the remaining pea puree, the oil,
If the skordalia seems too thick, add a little vinegar, wine or water to thin. Spread on a large plate, sprinkle with oregano, garnish with toppings of your choice and serve.
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