SKORDALIA: Greek Mashed Potatoes
Most famous for its connection to a certain Edna Everage, the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds is not the first place you might think of going for traditional Greek food. There is, however, a rare find on Mount Alexander Road worth making the trip for.
A rustic Greek restaurant serving traditional home-style food, Philhellene is family owned and run. Daughters, mothers, grandmothers and sons all play their part in the kitchen creating honest and delicious Greek food. It was here I first encountered – among other things – skordalia. This rich, thick garlicky potato puree was served beneath an enormous swordfish steak and alongside mounds of beetroot salad. For days after I could think of nothing but this meal, craving the bold flavours of provincial Greece.
Years later and I love making skordalia. It’s the perfect side dish for charred lamb – like we had here and makes an interesting alternative to standard mashed potatoes.
6 medium sized waxy potatoes (Desiree work well)
6 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
Boil the potatoes until tender and crush the garlic cloves to a paste with a little salt.
Once the potatoes are tender spoon them straight from the water to the food processor, taking with them a little of the water as you go. Combine with a pinch of salt and the crushed garlic, blitzing on high and slowly dribbling in the olive oil as you go. Stop when the olive oil is thoroughly combined and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Garnish with a further drizzle of olive oil.
Some traditional Greek recipes call for the addition of 1/2 cup of water reserved from boiling the potatoes.
Fresh chopped parsley.
Skordalia is often served as a dip, but I like it alongside chargrilled lamb and a fresh salad.
Perfect with battered fish.