Monday 31 October 2016

beetroot and garlic sauce

Traditionaly at greek tables beetroot are eaten with a garlic sauce (skordalia) .  Also any 'ray' sort of fish is eaten with skorthalia.  We had both so garlic sauce was made, by me.

Here we eat all of the beetroot plant.  The leaves are boiled separately from the bulbs.  The stalks are cut up and added first to the boiling water.  I cook the beetroot bulb whole.  The peel just slides off afterwards.  My sister-in-law however peels the beetroot like a potato and cubes and cooks it.  Whatever way you do it the vegetable water is full of nutriments and perfect for watering the garden - when it has cooled.

The garlic sauce is made from bread softened in water and  I also add a small boiled potato.  It makes the sauce smoother.

To the squeezed out bread is added lots of crushed garlic.  I actually added two more pieces of garlic.

Put it into your little mixer and whizz it well with a good dash of vinegar, olive oil and salt.  It can get cloggy and may even burn out the mixer-motor.  I whizz it in batches and then mix it altogether in a big bowl.  If you're using potato then be even more careful.  If it seems dry then add a little water.

These are the pieces of the wing of the 'ray'.  Sting ray, sun ray. (skate?)  They are usually about half a metre across and have wing like fins.   They are very popular here.  Just flour, season and fry.  

If you have fished it up yourself then it needs the skin removing.  Not so easy.  It also has, not bones, but sort of geletinous strands (cartilage) which can be  chewed and removed from mouth in a genteel manner (as opposed to being spat out into a paper napkin which is what most often happens here).  

All in all the combination is rather tasty, the beetroot, the sauce and the fish.

Word of the day:

aggravistle - that small and inaccessible piece of steak (or gelatinous cartilage in this case) that sticks between the teeth and cannot be dislodged despite constant agitation, causing great discomfort and annoyance.

Who knew there was a word for it.


  1. I adore Skate wings, in fact I noticed yesterday that they are on special offer at my supermarket this week. As good a reason as any to not buy my usual Salmon.

  2. I hadn't eaten it till a few years ago. It is delicious. Different from other fish. Love it fried crisp.

  3. I think beetroot originate in Russia. They are a seaside plant and grow very large if you sprinkle salt around them. I think only Celery is an English vegetable and most of them come from overseas like the Mediterranean and Asia.

    1. Russian? Seaside? Well, well, well. I may plant some just to try out that salt theory. Wonder if mine will grow larger than my neighbour Vaso. Hers were very ratty last year and she has grown up in this soil herself. How about rhubarb...where did that originate. We have a celery here which is called selino and looks like parsley

    2. China me thinks. Yorkshire people would probably say it comes from there.

  4. wow your food looks delicious. Have you ever tried beetroot in raspberry jelly. not jam, the dessert jelly? it is very nice.

    1. You know I had forgotten all about that. My mother used to put beetroot in raspberry jelly and I can taste it right now! Alas you can't get raspberry jelly here. Banana, pineapple and cherry only even in Athens. It would be much nicer than that darn garlic sauce. Raw garlic may be healthy but it is very heavy on the stomach and you stink for days!