Walnut Skordalia with Focaccia Croutes

Walnut Skordalia with Focaccia Croutes

This is a great appetizer as there is a nice mix of tender potatoes and nutty walnuts.  Serve as a mezze, for dipping bread, chips or crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch dice
  • 12 – 14 cloves garlic, peeled (1 large head garlic)
  • 2 cups chopped California walnuts
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (the juice of two lemons)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from two lemons)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons water, if needed

Note: Suggested to be served with fingers of toasted focaccia bread, or crisp crackers or chips, for serving.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a 13 x 9-inch baking pan (do not use aluminum) combine the potatoes with the garlic, walnuts, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine; then cover with foil. Bake about 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir thoroughly. Continue to bake, covered, 20 – 25 minutes more, until the potatoes are tender when pierced.
  2. Cool, uncovered, about 5 minutes; then transfer the mixture in a food processor. Pulse, stopping a time or two to scrape down the sides of the container, until you have a thick but coarse mixture. Don’t over-process; it should retain some texture. Add the remaining olive oil, the hot pepper sauce, and salt and pepper taste, and pulse just to combine. If the skordalia seems too stiff, thin it with a little water. Serve warm or at room temperature with toasted bread, chips or crackers.