This tangy potato dip is loosely based on the classic Greek skordalia and gets zip from a hefty dose of blanched garlic and fresh lemon juice. A quick roasted red pepper sauce is spooned into the middle of the potatoes to add even more flavor to this crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Put the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Once the water is at a simmer, add the garlic cloves to the water and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic from the water. Cool the garlic slightly and then coarsely chop it.
Add the garlic to a food processor along with the almonds and 1/2 cup of oil. Process until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a large bowl and reserve.
Rinse out the food processor and add the roasted red peppers, parsley, pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until the mixture is a mostly smooth with some small chunks. Reserve.
When the potatoes are tender, drain them well then cool slightly. Use a clean dishtowel to rub off the skins. Discard the skins and coarsely chop the potatoes. Run the potatoes through a food mill or ricer and add them to the bowl with the reserved almond mixture. Add 2 teaspoons salt and gently stir the potatoes and almond mixture together until just combined. Stir in the lemon juice, vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Spoon the potato mixture into a shallow baking dish and make a large well in the middle. Fill it with the reserved red pepper sauce and lightly drizzle everything with olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature with pita chips and/or warm pita bread wedges.
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