Skordalia

The 25th of March is the Greek Independence day, coinciding with the Feast of the Annunciation. Independence day celebrates the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) and the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman occupation. The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the visit of archangel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, informing her that she would be the mother of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

When it comes to food, the 25th of March falls within the 40-day period of strict fasting before Easter, when Greeks are invited to abstain from all animal flesh. But given the celebratory character of the day, consuming fish is allowed. The traditional dish of the day – with several regional variations – is salted codfish, battered and deep fried, and served with skordalia.

As we’ve written before, skordalia is a traditional Greek dip, made with raw garlic, “skordo” as is its name in Greek. It is usually made with potato, or bread, and occasionally nuts are added. Today we have the classic recipe for you, made with potato. It is by Katerina, Nafsika’s mother.

Serves 6-8 as a dip

600g potatoes (2-3 large)
150ml olive oil, plus more to serve
6-8 cloves of garlic (to taste)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt, pepper (to taste)

Place the potatoes in a large pot with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, around 40min. Drain and while the potatoes are still hot, peel off their skin. Let them cool down. Crumble into large pieces.

In a food processor (or using a pestle and mortar) blend together the olive oil and garlic. Slowly add the potatoes and blend everything together until you have a smooth mixture.

Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Taste and adjust for seasoning/vinegar. Serve drizzled with more olive oil.

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