Back when I was travelling New Zealand as an investigator, in Auckland I always stayed at the Quest in Upper Queen Street which had very nice studio apartments at reasonable rates for Government employees.  It also had a restaurant that served excellent food.

One of my favourites was a lamb steak or grilled fish fillet served with some kind of creamy mashed potato that I found irresistible.

I have always loved mashed potato, served the Irish way with butter and milk or a little cream beaten into it.  This stuff was something else.  It was made, I discovered, with pureed artichoke and olive oil.  Heavenly.   The Chef told me it was his own invention based on a traditional Greek recipe.  He told me the name, but I promptly forgot it.  From the internet, I worked out it must have been skorthalia.

I had the good fortune a few weeks back to buy a four litre can of Australian cold pressed virgin olive oil for less than $20.  I opened it yesterday, having used up the last of my Lupi brand, and topped up the bottle.  It is a delicious fruity oil that begged to be used in some way that the flavour could be savoured and enjoyed.

I have these potatoes that make a terrific mash and decided I might have a go at skorthalia.  Without artichokes, I turned to the traditional other ingredient, which is garlic.   I happen to have some really good Mexican garlic from Woolworths, and so I decided to make a puree of potato and garlic with olive oil and wine vinegar.

It is soooo good!

SKORTHALIA – pureed potato with garlic and olive oil.

Ingredients  (This will make two generous serves)

  • half a dozen medium potatoes, quartered, boiled in salted water and well drained. Allow excess moisture to evaporate (This is important for all mashed potato).
  • a bulb of garlic, finely chopped by mezzaluna with  a half teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil (or crushed or blended).
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil  (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (ditto)
  •  freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh parsley chopped on the oily, garlicky mezzaluna board
Mash the potatoes with the garlic and pepper then beat or puree while adding the oil and vinegar.  Sprinkle with parsley, or mix it in.

As soon as I find artichoke I am sooo going to try it.


About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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3 Responses to Skorthalia

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