Taramosalata (or Tarama) garnished with an olive.
Fish roe is a superb source of vitamins A and D, zinc, and long-chain fatty acids. As deficiencies in one or all of these nutrients can cause birth defects during pregnancy, I highly recommend this recipe for pregnant women in particular. This is not to say that the rest of us cannot benefit from the inherent richness of this dish, so let us follow the dictum of Hippocrates and “make our food our medicine”. Carp roe (also called ‘Tarama’), is the variety most commonly used today for taramosalata and there are two types: one is distinctively dyed a salmon-red colour and the other is the undyed natural beige coloured roe.
When I was very young, I thought this dip was like a pudding and I simply could not get enough of it, I did not bother to eat it with pita or any other kind of bread; I preferred it on its own. However, it appears my palate has mellowed with age and I have grown to appreciate some warm Greek-style pita bread as an accompaniment, even if only to have something to mop up the plate with! There are several variations in making this dip, but this one is the standard version and ought to be familiar to anyone who is (even moderately) acquainted with Greek food. Tarama (or taramoslata) is even available in non-Greek supermarkets these days; a testament to the widespread popularity of this Greek appetizer.
½ cup carp roe
½ loaf of two day old white bread
2 cups of Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, grated
1. Remove outside crust and soak inner bread in water, then squeeze well to drain and set aside.
2. Place fish roe in food processor/blender and mix on its own for a minute or so to break down the eggs.
3. Add grated onion to processor and continue mixing.
4. Add moistened bread in stages to processor/blender and mix well, then slowly add the lemon juice and olive oil while constantly mixing. Note: When adding the olive oil and lemon juice, you must add them in a slow and alternate fashion by first adding some of the lemon juice, and then some of the olive oil and so on until both are incorporated into the tarama.
Refrigerate before serving to firm up the tarama. Garnish with cucumber, tomato slices and/or olive(s) and serve with warm pita bread.
Copyright © 2008, Sam Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.