Kid-friendly Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

Recipe: Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
5 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

In the United States, mashed potatoes are synonymous with comfort and celebration, especially during holiday feasts like Thanksgiving. But venture over to Greece, and you'll be greeted by "skordalia," a culinary cousin to our classic side. This starchy, garlicky purée is a beloved staple of Greek cuisine that's often served as a hearty sauce or dip. Serve it as a side, a sauce, or a dip with Easy Lentil Chips!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • boil :

    to cook a food in liquid heated to the point of gas bubbles and steam forming (boiling point is 212 F at sea level).

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium pot
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Large mixing bowl
scale
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7X

Ingredients

Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free plain Greek yogurt)**
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 C instant potato flakes **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub 1 can of white beans, drained)**
  • 2 green onions

Food Allergen Substitutions

Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free plain Greek yogurt.
  • Nightshade: For 2 C instant potato flakes, substitute 1 can of drained white beans.

 

Instructions

Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip

1.
intro

"Geiá sou" (YAH soo) or "Hello" in Greek! Skordalia (Skor-dahl-ee-ah) is a Greek dip made from mashed potatoes with Mediterranean staples such as garlic, lemon, and olive oil. This Sticky Fingers Cooking version takes a quick shortcut using instant potatoes instead of fresh. This simple change makes this recipe an easy, peasy, 5-minute appetizer.

2.
peel + mince

Crush 2 to 3 garlic cloves and remove the skins, then chop finely and set aside (or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder instead).

3.
measure + boil

In a medium pot, add the minced garlic cloves and measure and pour in 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Then, slice 1 lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the mixture. Turn the heat to medium and gently stir to combine.

4.
whisk + garnish

In a large bowl, measure 2 cups of instant potato flakes. Then, carefully pour the hot water and yogurt mixture into the bowl of potatoes. Whisk until a thick mashed potato mixture is formed. While that cools, slice 2 green onions for garnish. This dip is meant to be thick and garlicky. Spread heaps of the dip on Easy Lentil Chips. "Kalí órexi" or "Enjoy" (or good appetite) in Greek!

Surprise Ingredient: Potato!

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Photo by Tatevosian Yana/Shutterstock.com

Hi, my name is Spud! That's my nickname, though. I'm actually a Potato!

“I'm sometimes a bit dirty because I grow down in the soil, but I clean up just fine. You may notice I sometimes have 'eyes' on my skin. That's where I sprout so new potato plants can grow. You can use the end of a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove those sprouts unless you're going to plant me! We are versatile, starchy vegetables that you can leave whole, slice, dice, shred, or mash and bake, boil, fry, grill, or roast!"

History & Etymology

  • Potatoes are the foremost vegetable crop in the world! They are root vegetables native to the Americas.
  • Scientists believe the first potatoes were cultivated about 8,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers near Lake Titicaca—high in the Andes mountains, on the border between Peru and Bolivia. 
  • Those first farmers obtained the cultivated potato by domesticating wild potato plants that grew prolifically around the lake. Over the following millennia, people in the Andes developed potato varieties for growing at different altitudes and in other climates.
  • In 1532, the Spaniards invaded Peru searching for gold, but they took a different treasure back to Europe: the potato! Over the next 300 years, the potato became a staple crop in Europe and soon found its way to India, China, and Japan. China now grows the most potatoes worldwide.
  • The potato has been a staple ingredient in the German diet since the 17th century when King Frederick was known to give seeds to citizens and demonstrate how to plant them for food. 
  • Famines occurred in the mid-1700s, and people in Germany realized the importance of potatoes because they could be grown in harsh environments.  
  • Where are most of the potatoes produced in the United States? In Idaho! Approximately one-third of all potatoes in the US are grown there.
  • The potato was the first vegetable grown in outer space!
  • President Thomas Jefferson was the first person to serve french fries in the United States (in 1802 in the White House).
  • Potatoes are so popular that a plastic toy called "Mr. Potato Head" has been sold by Hasbro since 1952. Initially, they sold it as separate parts, like eyes, ears, mouth, hats, etc., that could be attached to an actual potato with pushpins. Due to too many ruined potatoes and new safety rules, in 1964, Hasbro added a plastic potato body with holes to insert the plastic body parts and clothing. The toy was the first to be advertised on television. 
  • The English word "potato" comes from the mid-16th century from the Spanish "patata," which may have been a hybrid of "batata" (sweet potato) from the extinct Taíno language and "papa" (potato) from the Quechua language.  

Anatomy

  • Potatoes are tubers and are members of the Nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tobacco. 
  • The potato plant has a relatively short lifespan of anywhere from 80 to 150 days, determined by the variety of the potato. Furthermore, according to the International Potato Center in Peru, there are more than 4,000 varieties, with most found in the Andes Mountains!
  • Potatoes do not grow from seeds like other vegetables and fruits. Instead, they grow from "seed potatoes," which sprout and form roots underground. 
  • During its first stages of life, sprouts form from the eyes of the primary tuber. First, farmers prepare the earth by tilling it in rows that form ridges. Next, they remove stones from the soil to help the potatoes grow in uniform, oval shapes. Then, the seed potatoes are planted and covered with dirt for protection.
  • Seed potatoes are planted in the Spring so that the warmth from the sun can stimulate the plants to grow. First, roots form from the seed potatoes, and new shoots reach up through the soil toward the warm sun. Soon, green leaves grow on the shoots, establishing the potato plants. Then roots spread underground in the earth, and the potatoes grow from these roots. Potatoes are relatively easy to grow, even in harsh environments.   

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat 

  • Choose potatoes that are smooth, plump, free from blemishes, cuts, and decay, and that don't give when you squeeze them. 
  • Potatoes start getting soft when they go bad, so choose firm potatoes at the grocery store.
  • Smell potatoes before buying them: they should smell fresh and faintly of dirt since they grow in soil. 
  • Waxy potatoes are best for boiling and steaming, as they contain less starch and won't absorb as much liquid. Examples of waxy potatoes are Yukon gold, fingerling, Carola, LaRette, and Austrian Crescent.  
  • Medium-starch, all-purpose potatoes (red, purple, Onaway, and goldilocks varieties) work well when baked, roasted, fried, and used in soups and gratins.
  • Russet potatoes are best for frying (such as in hash browns and french fries), as they contain less starch and will get crisper.
  • Store potatoes in open or hole-punched paper bags (not plastic) to keep air circulating around the potatoes. Plastic bags can trap moisture and cause potatoes to rot quicker. Also, keep the bag in a dark, dry space. Chlorophyll will develop and produce a tell-tale green tinge if you store potatoes in too bright a place. If this happens, a toxic compound called solanine also forms, and it is best to toss any green potato in the garbage.   

Nutrition

  • Potatoes, with their skin, are rich in carbohydrates and a good source of energy. In addition, they have a high content of vitamin C and potassium, and protein that is well matched to human needs.
  • One cup of cooked potatoes contains 32 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6. This vitamin is a major antioxidant (antioxidants help clear the body of harmful substances). We need B6 for our brains and hearts, helping us learn and focus better, keep our moods up, and keep our brains sharp. Vitamin B6 is also required to make all new cells in the body, which happens every minute of our lives!

 

What is "Skordalia"?

Photo by PhoebeG/Shutterstock.com
  • "Skordalia" (Skor-dahl-ee-ah) is a thick purée of garlic, cooked potatoes, walnuts or almonds, bread, and lemon juice or vinegar, with olive oil for emulsion. Chopped green onions or parsley can be added as a garnish. Greek cuisine uses it as a dip, sauce, or side dish. 
  • The dish is meant to be garlic-forward. The Greek word "skordalia" comes from "skordo," meaning "garlic."
  • Skordalia often accompanies fish, usually fried cod, souvlaki (grilled skewered meat), fried or roasted vegetables or meats, or pita bread. 
  • Our Sticky Fingers Cooking version, Creamy Greek "Skordalia" Garlic Mashed Potato Dip, uses instant potatoes as a shortcut. We suggest pairing our Easy Lentil Chips with this yummy dip!

Let's Learn About Greece!

Photo by NadyaEugene/Shutterstock.com

Ancient Greece

  • Ancient Greece was a civilization in the northeastern Mediterranean region that existed from about 1100 BCE to 600 CE. Democracy began there in Athens in the 5th century BCE.
  • The first Olympics were dedicated to the Olympian gods and were staged on the plains of Olympia. Ancient Olympic sports included running, chariot racing, mule-cart racing, boxing, discus throw, long jump, wrestling, and pankration, a wild cross between wrestling and boxing with no rules except biting and eye-gouging!
  • A few of the well-known figures from this period were: Alexander the Great, who ruled over the whole empire from 336 to 323 BCE; Hippocrates, a physician referred to as the Father of Medicine; Herodotus, called the Father of History, who wrote his "Histories" about the Greco-Persian wars; Socrates, considered the founder of Western Philosophy; Plato, an author and philosopher who founded the first academy of higher learning in the West; Aristotle, a student of Plato's who also founded a school of philosophy; and Thales, a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece.  

Modern Greece

  • Greece, in Southeast Europe, is officially called the Hellenic Republic. Its government is a unitary parliamentary republic with a president, prime minister, and parliament. The capital and largest city is Athens, and the official language is Greek.
  • Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 and was recognized as an independent country in 1830. 
  • The size of Greece is about the same as the US state of Alabama but has twice as many people, over 10.5 million. 
  • The country of Greece consists of 6,000 islands, but only 227 are inhabited. Nearly 80 percent of the country is hills and mountains. 
  • About four-fifths of the people live in urban areas in Greece, and almost everyone is literate.
  • Greece has three times the number of annual tourists (about 31 million) as residents. It is one of the most-visited countries.
  • Greece is the third-largest producer of peaches and the fifth-largest producer of olives in the world. 
  • In the past, most Greeks were farmers, and they ate the food that they grew. Since Greece had a mild climate, they could grow many different fruits and vegetables as long as they got enough rain. Vegetables were a considerable part of the Greek diet and still are. Most Greeks eat a Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of olive oil, legumes, fruits, veggies, grains, and fish. They generally consume less dairy and meat.
  • Greek cuisine includes "fasolada" (soup of white beans, olive oil, and veggies), "moussaka" (eggplant or potato dish with ground or minced meat), "souvlaki" (grilled meat on a skewer), and "gyros" (pita bread filled with meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, veggies, and tzatziki sauce). 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Greece?

  • Greek kids have three stages of education: primary school for six years, gymnasium (junior high) for three years, and lyceum (senior high) for three years (this stage is not mandatory).
  • Kids may participate in sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, and handball. 
  • There are many museums and ancient sites to explore in Greece. Families love being outdoors and enjoy hiking and going to the many beaches. 
  • There are several different sweets that Greek children enjoy. These include "pasteli" (sesame seed candy), "bougatsa" and "galaktoboureko" (phyllo pastries filled with semolina custard), and "baklava" (nut-filled phyllo pastry soaked in a honey syrup).

THYME for a Laugh

Why shouldn’t you tell a secret on a farm? 

Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn has ears.

That's Berry Funny

Did you hear about the dog who ate a bunch of garlic?

His bark was worse than his bite!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a baby potato? 

A small fry!

That's Berry Funny

I’m allergic to green onions.

Every time I eat them, I break out in chives!

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