Sunday, July 21, 2013

Split Pea-Garlic Dip (Skordalia)

Traditional Greek skordalia is a potato-based garlic puree, served over vegetables or as a dip. This recipe gives it a playful (and healthy!) twist by using two varieties of split peas in place of the potatoes. If you don't have split peas on hand, you could try chickpeas or any white bean in their place.

  • 1/2 cup green split peas
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh arugula (optional for garnish)
1. Make sure to sort the split peas first, for any stray pebbles and the like. Rinse the split peas in a sieve.

2. In a saucepan, combine the split peas, water, oregano, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the split peas are tender.  Drain, and discard the bay leaves.

3. Transfer the split pea mixture to a food processor, along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the red wine vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, and garlic cloves.  Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Stir in the olives.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and chill for 2 hours.

5. Before serving, sprinkle with the cilantro and arugula as garnish if desired.

The dip is great with baked pita wedges, or with raw veggies.

Nutrition Info:
36 servings (1 tablespoon), Calories 27

Tasting Notes:
I found this very similar in texture to a red lentil dip I prepared for this blog last fall, so as with that recipe, I felt this one needed a creamier consistency. To achieve better results, I wouldn't drain off the excess liquid after cooking the split peas, and would add a touch more olive oil. The bite from the raw garlic was just right though, as was the saltiness from the olives, and I enjoyed the earthy flavor (like a condensed split pea soup). The cilantro and arugula are a must, for great herbal and peppery flavor. My preference was definitely to serve this with pitas, rather than veggies.


You can also thin this dip with a little vegetable broth or (vegan) white wine, to make it more of a sauce. I loved it over steamed vegetables:

Gardein chicken:

and EcoVegan's fish fillets:

If thinning with broth, I recommend 2 tablespoons broth per 1/4 cup skordalia, but only 1 tablespoon per 1/4 cup if using wine. My preference was the wine variation.

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