The Greeks do not fear garlic. You shouldn’t either. Skordalia, the lesser known Greek garlic dip (tzatziki being the better known one, thanks to gyros) actually has its root in the word “skorda,” which means garlic. And that’s the common theme that runs through the countless variations of this dip. Some are bread-based, some potato-based, some almond- or walnut-based. All are delish, but if you ever order it at a Greek ‘straunt, be sure to ask the waiter if there is any bread or flour in it.

Skordalia is typically served with fried, salted cod (bakaliaro) or sliced beets (patzaria – a personal fave) or fried zucchini (kolokithakia). My husboy is on an eggplant buying binge lately (no complaints here), so we tried the ol’ zucchini/eggplant switcheroo. I think my Yiayia would have done the same.

Fried Eggplant with Greek Garlic Dip

Fried Eggplant with Greek Garlic Dip

Fried Eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2/3 cup of brown rice flour
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • salt & pepper

Slice & soak: Slice the eggplant into 1/4″ rounds and place in a bowl of cold water. Pour a generous amount of salt over the eggplant and let soak for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the breading. Measure out the flour onto a dinner plate, add a healthy dose of salt and pepper and mix to distribute evenly. Gently squeeze the eggplant while submerged in the water. Do this a couple of times. You’ll see the water change to a narsty brown color. This is good. This means the salt is doing its job of leeching the bitterness out.

Fry the bastards: Remove the eggplant from the soaking water, gently squeezing to get the last drops of bitter water out. Coat in your flour mixture. Heat a pan with the grapeseed oil (I use this because it doesn’t smoke at frying temperatures) on high. Fry the eggplant until lightly golden on each side. When done, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb some of the excess oil. Makes enough for 2 people. Serve with the skordalia below.

Skordalia (Greek Garlic Dip)

  • 5 medium Russet potatoes
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • salt

Cut potatoes (unpeeled) into thirds and cover with salted water. Boil until you can stick a fork easily through the thickest potato chunk. Drain and cover with cold water. Peel taters (you can do this right off the bat if you prefer, but it’s easier after they’re boiled). In a large, preferably flattish bowl, mash the potatoes well so there are no lumps. Crush garlic and add to mix. Add olive oil and vinegar and mix well. Salt to taste. Makes dip for an army (ours never lasts past lunch the next day…)

Kali orexi!