Inspired by a recipe from Pelion, Central Greece. Serve with fried or grilled fish and seafood, with fried or grilled vegetables, and on its own as mezze with toasted bread, crackers, or 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 almonds, soaked in water for about three hours and drained
1/2 cup sour grape juice (or 3 to 5 tablespoons lemon juice) or more to taste
1 cup country bread, crusts removed soaked in water and squeezed dry
1 cup mashed potato
1/2 to 1 teaspoons ground white pepper, or Piment d’Espelette, Aleppo, or Maras pepper, 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.