Authentic Skordalia Recipe – Traditional Greek Garlic and Potato Spread

Authentic Greek Skordalia - Healthy Garlic and Potato Spread Recipe

Discover the bold flavors of skordalia, a Greek delicacy that will revolutionize your perception of mashed potatoes. This tantalizing spread combines olive oil, vinegar, almonds, and raw garlic for an unforgettable taste experience.

While mashed potatoes often evoke images of cozy winter meals, skordalia proves that potatoes can shine in warm weather too. This chilled Greek purée marries the comforting essence of potatoes with zesty garlic, creating a versatile dish perfect for any season.

Technically, skordalia isn’t always potato-based. The defining feature is garlic suspended in a starchy foundation, which can be potatoes or bread, often enhanced with nuts. This recipe focuses on the potato version, offering a delightful appetizer, snack, or accompaniment to roasted vegetables and meats. Its versatility knows no bounds – enjoy it as a dip, spread, or condiment. The robust garlic flavor means a little goes a long way, making it an ideal choice for sultry summer days when appetites wane.

Crafting the Perfect Skordalia

After extensive testing, we’ve perfected the ingredient ratios: about a pound of potatoes, a half cup of blanched almonds, roughly three-quarters of a cup of olive oil, a quarter cup of acid (vinegar or lemon juice), and four to six garlic cloves, depending on your desired intensity. Four cloves deliver a pleasantly garlicky flavor, while six provide a more potent garlic punch.

In our potato trials, russets emerged as the clear winner over Yukon Golds. Contrary to expectations, russets created a lighter, creamier dip that we found irresistible.

Perfecting the Potatoes

We follow our tried-and-true mashed potato method: peeling and dicing the potatoes, rinsing off surface starches, then simmering in well-salted water until tender. A final rinse after draining removes any lingering surface starch, preventing a gluey texture.

To enhance the texture, we briefly transfer the cooked and rinsed potatoes to a hot oven. This step helps eliminate excess surface moisture before we introduce the oil and acid.

Skordalia traditionally boasts a distinct tartness from lemon juice or wine vinegar. After experimenting with both, we prefer the sharper flavor of wine vinegar, though a combination of lemon and vinegar yields particularly delightful results.

Crafting the Nut and Garlic Paste

While we often recommend a mortar and pestle for similar tasks, pulverizing whole almonds proved too challenging. Almond flour was tested as an alternative, but its flavor fell short compared to freshly ground almonds.

The food processor emerged as the ideal tool for this job. Not only does it efficiently grind the almonds, but it also allows us to employ a clever technique: blending garlic in an acidic environment to temper its harshness. This method, inspired by chef Michael Solomonov, reduces the formation of garlic’s harshest compounds, resulting in abundant garlic flavor with less bite.

To achieve this, we combine garlic, almonds, vinegar (and/or lemon juice), and cold water in a food processor, blending until a paste forms. The difference between skordalia made with this acid-blended garlic and one made with regular minced garlic is remarkable – you get the same intensity of raw garlic flavor, but in a far more pleasant form.

Bringing It All Together

To complete the skordalia, pass the cooked potatoes through a ricer or food mill (or use your preferred mashing method), incorporate the almond-garlic paste, and stir in the olive oil. If the mixture begins to separate once all the oil is added, don’t worry – simply beat in a couple more tablespoons of cold water to restore the emulsion.

While skordalia can be enjoyed immediately at room temperature (or slightly warm from residual heat), it truly shines when lightly chilled, allowing those garlicky, tangy flavors to take center stage. Save those warming mashed potatoes for autumn and winter – summer belongs to skordalia!

Skordalia (Greek Garlic and Potato Spread)


  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound; 453g), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ounces whole blanched almonds (1/2 cup; 85g)
  • 4 to 6 medium cloves garlic (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90ml) white wine vinegar and/or fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons; see notes)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Warmed pita and/or bread, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Rinse cubed potatoes in a colander under cold water until water runs clear. Transfer to a large saucepan and cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Season water until it tastes as salty as tears. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until a knife easily pierces potatoes with no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in colander, then rinse with hot running water for 30 seconds.
  2. While potatoes cook, combine almonds, garlic, 2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water, and wine vinegar and/or lemon juice in a food processor. Process until garlic and almonds form a paste. Season with salt.
  3. Spread potatoes in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven until excess moisture evaporates and potato surfaces appear dry and chalky, about 6 minutes.
  4. Using a potato ricer or food mill with the finest disk, mash potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, thoroughly mash potatoes with a potato masher in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Incorporate olive oil and almond-garlic mixture into potatoes, stirring until thoroughly combined. If skordalia appears to be separating slightly, stir in additional cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well, until mixture re-emulsifies. Season with salt, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately with warm pita or bread, or chill until ready to serve.


Skordalia is renowned for its strong garlic flavor, which is achieved with about 6 cloves. For a milder version, use 5 or 4 cloves instead. While we enjoy combining fresh lemon juice with white wine vinegar, if you must choose only one, we recommend the sharper acidity of wine vinegar for this dish.

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