The famous potato-and-garlic purée of Greece is one of my favorite mezze dips at Greek appetizer time; the combo of earthy potato, sharp garlic, tart lemon juice and fruity olive oil is extraordinary. It can also be served in other ways, such as a warm sauce at main-course time–in which case you’d thin the following recipe out with a bit more hot chicken stock. But I like it at room temperature, and very garlicky. If you’d like it even more garlicky–and some people love it at mouth-searing level–by all means ratchet up that garlic ratio.
1 lb. peeled potatoes in large, same-size chunks
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic paste (see NOTE)
4 teaspoons powdered almonds (see NOTE)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
at least 1/4 cup hot chicken stock
1. Place the potatoes in salted boiling water, and cook until they are tender (20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.) Drain in colander, and immediately pass potatoes through a ricer (you can break them up in other ways–food mill, hand-mashing, etc.–but the ricer yields the best texture for this dish.) Place riced potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
2. Immediately add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic paste, powdered almonds and vinegar. Blend well with a fork. Taste for seasoning; add salt as necessary, and a pinch of sugar.
3. Blending with a fork, pour in the 1/4 cup of hot chicken stock. If you’d like a looser consistency, pour in a little more. Serve immediately, or bring to room temperature and serve. Taste for seasoning again just before serving.
Garlic NOTE: To make garlic paste, simply chop 5-6 large cloves of garlic sprinkled with a little salt. When they’re finely chopped, pound the garlic on your board with the side of a cleaver, or a heavy knife, until they become a kind of purée.
Powdered Almonds NOTE: To make powdered almonds, place blanched, skinless almonds (whole or slices) in the work bowl of a food processor. You’ll need to process more almonds than you need for this dish…say, at least half a cup or so, depending on the size of your food processor. Run the machine until you have a fine powder.