Skordalia is a beautiful, savory flavorful Greek dish that is typically made from potatoes or day-old bread, lots of garlic, almonds and lemon juice. I use rutabaga as a potato substitute to whip up this smooth, super easy and totally divine Keto Skordalia recipe!
Skordalia is typically a greek bread dip or spread, but can also be used as a side dish or even as a keto rice substitute. I like to top it with thick stew, like my Keto Irish Stew. You could also top with stir frys or even shrimp and sausage. It can be served hot or cold, depending on what you’re serving it with. This recipe makes a keto side dish that you will fall in love with, and has only 5g net carbs per serving.
I first learned about skordalia at one of my favorite restaurants, the Mediterranean Exploration Company, here in Portland. They served this phenomenal salad of beets with orange blossom on top of a lovely base of skordalia. I was in love! After that, I had to try to replicate the dish – only keto style.
While my version of that dish will be in another recipe, I had to start off with the skordalia part.
What is Skordalia?
The name itself, in Greek, is a reference to garlic. So it would be difficult to have a Greek skordalia recipe without garlic as a star ingredient. But, if you’re following a low-FODMAP diet, you can totally leave it out or make it with garlic infused olive oil and it will still be amazing.
Skordalia is basically a Greek-style thick dip or spread that traditionally combines potatoes or bread with garlic, olive oil, almonds and a bit of citrus. In place of citrus, some folks like to use vinegar, but I think the addition of preserved lemon paste adds a depth that you just can't get from vinegar or lemon or juice. You can read all about it in my Preserved Lemon Paste Ingredient Spotlight. Of course, if you don’t have preserved lemon, lemon juice works great. It gives the dish a bright flavor that will put a smile on your face. You can also make your own quick lemon paste at home.
The traditional recipes call for the dip to be super smooth, so you can use a food processor or potato masher. I’m a bit of a rebel, so I like to actually use a pastry cutter to mash the rutabaga which I'm using as a potato alternative for this recipe. Since rutabagas aren’t very starchy and have a decent amount of fiber, you may find that your skordalia isn’t completely smooth, but that’s fine. It will still taste phenomenal.
If you happen to be missing the creamy-butteriness of hummus (which I do from time to time), this recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy that craving with a fraction of the carbs.
What is a rutabaga?
The rutabaga is a little homely, but don't let that be a deterrent. It is a root vegetable that belongs to the same plant family as cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, turnip, cauliflower, radish, and cabbage. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, and when cooked, have a slightly sweet, savory and buttery flavor with an earthy undertone. They are commonly confused with their turnip cousins because they look similar. Add this amazing root to your list of low-FODMAP vegetables and get ready for some great flavor.
Rutabaga vs turnip
While rutabagas and turnips belong to the same vegetable family, they are different. They may look quite similar, yet rutabagas are generaly a bit bigger than turnips (some upwards of 3 pounds!). Turnips are generally white and purple, where rutabagas are mostly yelowish and purple-brownish in color. Rutabagas are slightly peppery, and don't have that smidge of bitterness that you can get from turnips.
This is one of the easiest, most delicious recipes in my repertoire. The rutabagas only take about 10 minutes to cook. A quick sautee of the garlic, then simply mashing and adding the rest of the tasty ingredients to the bowl. That’s it! Easy squeezy.
How to peel rutabaga
Removing the skin is easiest with a simple vegetable peeler - like peeling a potato.
How to cut rutabaga
Cut off the root - the spot where the stem was removed. Then, chop into 1 inch pieces (or smaller) with a chef's knife.
Making the skordalia
Add to a large pot of water and boil until fork tender - about 10-15 minutes. While the rutabaga is boiling, finely chop the garlic and sautee for about 2 minutes in olive oil until the garlic becomes soft. Set the pan aside.
Drain the rutabaga and add to a large bowl. Mash and add the olive oil, preserved lemon and the sauteed garlic and oil you set aside earlier, almond flour and salt. Mash until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Add the sour cream last and mix well. You can serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some fancy sliced green onion tops, and a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
I’ve toasted low carb flat bread and eaten it as a dip, topped with olive oil and scallion, served it alongside fish such as my Indian Spiced Salmon. My favorite is using it as a rice replacement and topping it with something delicious. I’ve topped it with a Greek-inspired stir fry in my Mediterranean Stir Fry with Skordalia, shrimp and sausage, white fish with a lemon sauce, and even chicken tikka.
You can use it as a condiment on a sandwich, chaffle or a burger (yes- a burger! It was sooo good).
Other side dish recipes you might like
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Maple and Rosemary
- Irish Colcannon
- Herb Roasted Rutabagas
- Herb Roasted Carrots with Curry Leaves and Fenugreek
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Keto Skordalia Recipe
- Cut off the root, the spot where the stem was removed.
- Remove the skin. I just use a vegetable peeler for this
- Chop rutabaga in one inch pieces (or smaller).
- Add to a large pot, cover with water and boil until fork tender - about 10-15 minutes.
- While the rutabaga is boiling, finely chop the garlic. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a small pan, add the garlic, and sautee for about 2 minutes, until garlic becomes soft. Set aside entire contents of the pan.
- Drain the rutabaga and add to a large bowl.
- Mash and add the olive oil, preserved lemon, the olive oil and garlic from the pan that was set aside, almond flour and salt and mash until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Add the sour cream last and mix well.
- To serve: Top with more olive oil, chopped scallion and fleur de sel.
*Net carbs = carbohydrates - fiber
Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools and does not include optional ingredients unless otherwise indicated.