Recipe: Fresh Garlic and Almond Spread

Alm-Garlic spread3.jpg

Photo by Aglaia Kremezi

In general, I much prefer to cook savory rather than sweet dishes. Our almonds find their way into my vegetable pies and my stuffing for tomatoes, peppers, or grilled Calamari. I even use coarsely ground almonds in my pasta sauces, and of course in many of the spreads that I serve as mezze with my home made breads. With fresh garlic from the garden, I whipped up this spread last week, a greener variation on skordalia, the traditional Greek garlic sauce.

Serve with toasted whole wheat bread or with crudités. Great with fried zucchini, eggplant slices, or fried or grilled fish and seafood.

Makes 6-8 appetizer portions.

1 large or 2 small lemons
1 cup blanched almonds, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained
1-2 fresh green garlic--white and green part--coarsely chopped (see note)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small potato cooked and mashed (cold), about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup or more extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup thick Greek yogurt

Peel lemons with a very sharp, serrated knife, removing most of the white pith.

Over a bowl, quarter the lemons and remove pits and the white middle core. Put the lemon pieces and the juice from the bowl in a blender, together with the almonds, fresh garlic, cloves, and a pinch of salt. Pulse to get a coarse, homogeneous mixture. Transfer to a bowl, add the potato, olive oil, and pepper, stirring with a fork to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours and up to 2 days. Before serving add yogurt, stir, and correct seasoning.

NOTE: If green garlic is not available, add one more clove and a handful of parsley leaves.