Chicken Skewers with Walnut Skordalia

Chicken Skewers with Walnut Skordalia

On every table in Greece, there is a mass of small bowls filled with dips, spreads and purees called meze.  One of the most popular is skordalia.  This variation on the classic is made with toasted walnuts and spinach. This skordalia is delicious with skewers of chicken, fish or beef but it’s also fantastic served with crispy pita chips.

Ingredients

For the Skordalia

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts, boned, skinned and trimmed, about 10 to 12 ounces each
  • 2 zucchini, about ¾ pound
  • 12 bamboo skewers, 10-inches long, soaked in cold water 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon wedges as a garnish

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach to the boiling water, remove immediately and drain. 
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the 1/2 cup cold water and squeeze well to remove any excess moisture. Discard the water.
  3. Place the spinach, breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup of the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend to obtain a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper.  Place the skordalia in a bowl.  Chop the remaining 2 tablespoons walnuts and sprinkle onto the top.  Drizzle with a few drops of olive oil.  Makes 1-½ cups.  Set aside while you prepare the chicken.
  4. Cut the chicken into 3/4-inch pieces.  Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  5. Preheat an outdoor grill or an indoor cast-iron ridged grill.  Thread the chicken and zucchini onto the skewers alternating them.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill the skewers until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes.  Turn and continue to grill until done, 3 to 4 additional minutes. 
  6. To serve, place the skewers on a platter and garnish with lemon wedges.  Pass the Skordalia on the side.