Pine-nut skordalia

Serves: 4

Pine-nut skordalia

A classic Greek skordalia is a thick purée made from either potatoes and garlic or bread and garlic. Sometimes nuts are pounded with the garlic- walnuts usually. I have adapted the dish to suit my tastes. I love raw garlic- the resulting garlic breath not so much so I roast the garlic cloves to give the purée a more mellow flavour. The bread you use is very important- you want something with a chewy crumb. Sliced white won’t do. Serve the skordalia as a dip or sauce for a plain piece of white fish- hake or cod would be my choice.


  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 80g crustless bread, preferably sourdough or a good rustic white loaf
  • 75g lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
Pine-nut skordalia


  1. Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Place the garlic in a small piece of foil. Pour over 1 tablespoon of the oil and bring up the sides to form a bundle. Roast for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven, leave the garlic cloves to cool then peel off the skins. Place the cloves in the small bowl of a food processor.
  2. Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place the dough in the food processor and add the pine nuts, reserving a few for the garnish. Process to form a paste then, as the motor is still running, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil. You should have a smooth, thick purée. Stir in the vinegar and taste and season with salt and ground black pepper. Spoon into a bowl and serve with raw vegetables and crisps for dipping.