Taramosalata (and not taramasalata, as is often mistakenly written, as it is not correct Greek,) is a wonderful mezes or appetizer made with red or white fish roe of the cod or carp fish.
It is a Lenten spread, which however is not enjoyed only during the Lenten period but all the year round.
Taramas is a food rich in phosphorus (good for the eyes), zinc and magnesium antioxidant (essential for good muscle and heart function) and ω-3 fatty acids.
However, as it also contains too much salt, it can cause problems to those who have hypertension, elevated uric acid or high cholesterol, if consumed in large quantities.
There are two types of roe: the white and the pink one.
The natural colour of the tarama is white or more precisely beige. The red or pink ones, contain food colouring.
For this reason, the natural white taramas is considered to be of superior quality.
I personally prefer the white one, but as my daughter prefers the pink one, I usually make both of them.
The white one is considered to be of a higher quality than the pink one and I personally prefer the white one, not that the pink one is not good.
The most common one which you will find in the Greek restaurants is the pink one, as it is more attractive to the eye.
Taramas has a very strong flavour and it is very salty. In order to remove the saltiness and make it milder in taste, we add boiled potatoes or soaked stale bread.
I usually make it with bread. The amount of bread (or potaties) to add is a matter of taste as this depends on how mild you want the dip to be.
HOW TO MAKE TARAMOSALATA
If you have stale bread, soak it in water, remove the crust and squeeze out the water.
Alternatively, boil some potatoes until soft.
In a blender or food processor, add the roe with some olive oil, lemon juice and the onion. Blend until creamy.
Finally add the bread (or potato) and mix until incorporated, to form a dip of the consistency of mayonnaise.
Decorate with parsley, finely chopped spring onion or black olives.
Serve chilled with lagana, toasted bread on with pita chips.
This and many more Greek dips are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus Kopiaste!
- 70 grams of white taramas (fish roe)
- 1 small onion
- 8 – 10 slices of white sandwich bread, soaked in water
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) olive oil
- About 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Begin by soaking the bread in water, until soft. Squeeze to remove excess water.
- In a blender add the onion and some of the lemon juice (or some of the olive oil) and blend on low speed until puréed. Add the taramas and mix to blend.
- Start adding 2 - 3 slices of bread each time as well as some of the olive oil and lemon juice and mix until incorporated.
- Continue adding more bread, olive oil and lemon juice and blend until a very nice, creamy smooth dip of a consistency like mayonnaise is reached.
- If taramas is too salty for your taste, add more soaked bread.
- Place the taramosalata in the refrigerator, in a bowl with a lid or covered with cling film, for a few hours, to avoid forming a crust on top.
- Decorate with finely chopped parsley, spring onion or olives.
- Serve chilled with lagana, toasted bread on with pita chips.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 cups Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 798 Total Fat: 43g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 35g Cholesterol: 131mg Sodium: 809mg Carbohydrates: 83g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 11g Protein: 22g
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