Sunday, October 4, 2009

Taramosalata: Fish Roe (Caviar) Dip or Spread

In Greek: ταραμοσαλάτα, pronounced tah-rah-mo-sah-LAH-tah

This easy to make, no-cook meze is one of the classic Greek dips, and a favorite served with ouzo. The roe comes in plain and smoked varieties, as well as a paste. Smoked cod roe is a whitish color, while carp roe is generally light (uncolored with no additives) to dark (coloring and soy meal added) pink. The lighter color, without additives, is the higher quality.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes


· 3 1/2 ounces of cod or carp roe (plain or smoked)
· 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
· 2-3 slices of bread, crust removed
· juice of 2 lemons
· warm water


Run the bread under water and squeeze dry.
Put all ingredients except oil and lemon juice in food processor and blend (setting 2) until mixed. Add oil and lemon juice slowly and continue on pulse until creamy and thick. (Use water to dilute if it gets too thick.) Chill.

Serve well-chilled with wedges of lemon and pita wedges or slices of crusty bread. Garnish with a black olive or green herb leaves.

Alternative preparation:

Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, combine roe and bread in a bowl. With the mixer on low, add oil slowly and build up speed. Add lemon juice when the oil has been absorbed, and warm water if needed to bring it to the consistency of a thick spread (it should not be stiff). Mix to reach desired consistency. The taramosalata in the picture was mixed for a total of 50 seconds until light and airy: 30 to add the oil and lemon juice, 20 to correct taste (with more lemon to increase tartness, more bread to decrease) and achieve desired texture.

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