Here’s what farmers from West Crete and Thrace could do with all those cucumbers in their summer gardens! Cucumber salads, greek salads, tzatziki and a thirst quenching refreshment, a DROSSERIKO. It is delicious and really easy.
In your blender, add:
1 large Greek cucumber, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
3 cups cold water
1 pinch of salt
few drops of lemon juice
ice cubes as many as needed
Blend until smooth. Add the ice cubes and serve immediately.
This is a family- recipe of skordalia. Garlic sauces have a long history going back to ancient Greece. For instance, tuna fish was served with mittotos, a sauce based on garlics, leeks and cheese. Byzantine cookery was also awash with recipes that employed garlic in sauces for meats, fishes and vegetables. The well known skordalia (skordo= garlic) is a Greek garlic based sauce that appears around the Mediterranean and is esteemeted by all, judging by the large number of recipes for it. It is made of mashed potatoes or breadcrumbs or rusk soaked in water, olive oil, salt, vinegar or/and lemon. In modern Greece it is used for a variety of foods; it is served with fried salt cod, fried frog legs, oysters, grilled fish, beet salad, green bean salad, slices fried vegetable slices or is cooked with rabbit, meat, oysters and fish. Cooks in Macedonia, Ionian islands and Crete often add walnuts or almonds to mashed potatoes or soaked bread. Greek recipes from Minor Asia add pine nuts and the old cook books base the skordalia on a combination of blanched almonds and mashed potatoes. All these combinations of garlic, bread and nuts owe a lot to Middle Ages recipes. The Medieval agliata or ailléé (ital. & french version) was made of garlics, bread soaked in fish of meat broth and nuts.
5 teeth minced garlic.
1 cup black bread, crusts removed, or 1 cup black rusk, soaked in 1 cup cold water and squeezed dry
3/4 -1 cup virgin olive oil
250 gr. chopped almonds
1/3 cup lemon juice, or more if you like
70 gr. capers
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup green olive oils, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine garlic with few drops of olive oil and pound in a mortar until mushy. Add the almonds and the cappers and pound to form a paste. Pass the bread or the rusk through a food mill or colander. Blend the bread or rusk, almonds/garlic paste and olives together with a fork in a bowl. Add virgin olive oil and lemon juice alternately in very small amounts, stirring briskly. Add salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until sauce is thick. Refrigerate until needed and serve it topped with the sunflower seeds.
You can refine the recipe by using: a) blanched almonds and b) white bread and/or mashed potatoes.
The skordalia is wonderful if served with some matured graviera cheese and a piece of fresh home made bread. If you will not add olives try it with some fresh figs.