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Skorthalia (Skordalia): Greek Garlic Dip and Sauce

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Skorthalia - Greek Garlic Puree Spread or Dip

Serve skorthalia as a dip, spread, or as a condiment with dishes like this fried salt cod

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: σκορδαλιά pronounced skor-thal-YAH

My older family members would fix this using a mortar and pestle to first degrade the garlic with salt, then add other ingredients to create the purée texture desired. Today, I often use a food processor or hand mixer which makes things a lot easier and takes a lot less time! Skordalia (skorthalia) can also be made with bread, but the potato recipe is more versatile since it can double as garlic mashed potatoes.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes for boiling
  • 6-12 cloves of garlic, minced or grated (to taste)
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of good quality red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


Add the salt to a large pot of water. Peel the potatoes and boil in salted water until well done (easily pierced with a fork). Drain.

Sprinkle the potatoes with pepper and mash.

In the blender bowl of the food processor (or with a hand mixer), purée the potatoes and garlic until well mixed, about 30-45 seconds. Still puréeing, slowly add the olive oil and vinegar, alternating between them, tasting as you go, until the mixture is smooth. Skorthalia should be creamy and thick. If it gets too thick, add a little cold water (not more than 1/4 cup).

Yield: About 2-3 cups

To prepare by hand

Mash potatoes with garlic. Drizzle in the olive oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, mashing well. Add pepper. This version may be grainier, but the taste is wonderful!

Note: Skordalia is a matter of taste. Some prefer a mild garlic taste, while others prefer a strong garlic taste. If the taste is too strong, adjust the quantities of potatoes or bread up a bit. If the taste is not strong enough, increase the garlic.


In various regions of Greece, walnuts or almonds are added. If you like, add a cup of finely chopped walnuts or almonds to the food processor at the beginning, with the potatoes, and add the juice of a lemon to the liquids. The consistency will still be similar to thick ketchup but granular due to the nuts.

[blockquote shade=grur]Guide's Response to User Review
"In response to reviewer tellos, note that the salt is added to the water when boiling the potatoes - not to the dish itself. In the event that this was not clear, I have added a parenthetical comment to the recipe directions." Nancy Gaifyllia, Your Guide to Greek Food

User Reviews

 5 out of 5
Best skorthalia ever, Member BScholten

The salt quantity is almost perfect, depending always on the TYPE of potato!!! I used lemon juice instead of the vinegar (local vinegars leave much to be desired), and 1 cup less 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and it was the best ever. My partner prefers more oil, but this is MY dish (he gets the tzatziki!)Thank you for this!

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