This unusual recipe is inspired by one I found in the region of Pelion, in Central Greece. The green garlic version is deliciously milder but we can only make it in the spring, when we get the fresh, scallion-like garlic from the garden.
Skordalia is served traditionally with fried or grilled fish and seafood; also with fried or grilled vegetables. On its own it is a popular meze served with toasted bread, barley rusks or crackers, and with crudités.
Makes about 4 cups
8 to 12 large garlic cloves (to taste) peeled, or 3-4 green garlic –white plus most of the green part– coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup blanched, or unpeeled almonds, soaked in water for about three hours and drained
1 cup country bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed dry
1 cup mashed potato
1/2 to 1 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper, or more, to taste
1/2 cup light olive oil or sunflower oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup thick (drained) yogurt (optional)
1 teaspoon fine lemon zest (optional)
Put the garlic, salt, almonds, and sour grape juice or lemon in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a sand-like texture.
Add the bread, potato, and pepper. Process briefly. With the motor running start slowly pouring in the light olive oil and then the extra virgin, until you have a thick creamy paste.
Transfer to a bowl cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, so that the flavors have time to blend.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with more sour grape juice or lemon, salt, or pepper. Just before serving, stir in the yogurt and the lemon zest, if using.