Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Garlic Sauce with Octopus Broth from Ithaca


Makes 4 to 6 meze servings

This garlic dip is served just as aliatha, ayiatha, and others are—as an accompaniment to boiled greens, fried vegetables or fish, plain on bread, or as a side with Ithacan Fried Octopus . Four 1-inch-thick slices stale rustic bread Pan juices from cooking 2 small or 1 large octopus.


  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, to taste, peeled and crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, as needed


1. Remove the crusts from the bread and dampen the bread slightly under the tap. Squeeze out the excess water. Crumble the bread a little and place it in the octopus juices to absorb them.

2. Put 2 cloves of the garlic and a little salt in a large mortar and begin to pound them into a paste. Add one more garlic clove and a little of the crumbled, soaked bread. Continue pounding. Alternately add a little olive oil and vinegar and any excess octopus juice. Add more garlic, then more bread, pounding all the while and loosening the mixture with alternating additions of oil and vinegar. Do this until the bread and garlic and as mucholive oil and vinegar as are needed to make themixture thick but smooth are used up. The skordaliashould be dense like mashed potatoes butcreamy. You may need to dilute it a little by adding some water. It will have an odd mauve color from the octopus juice, but it will be pungent and delicious.

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