Twenty-six years ago, Mr. S introduced me to a Greek fish dip called taramasalata. We had recently begun to date and at a restaurant, he ordered the dip. I was, at first, turned off by the ingredients. However, when one is in a new relationship, one tends to be more adventurous. 🙂 But how on earth could fish eggs (roe) preserved in salt be considered delicious? The dip arrived looking well presented surrounded by toasted pita bread along with tzatziki, and olive tapenade. After one bite I was wrong! Its silky smooth texture has a slight fishy taste but is tamed with the addition of lemon juice. It has been such a long time since I had taramasalata.
Our trip to Greece last month brought back many fond memories of the dip. When we got home I went on the hunt for some. Turns out, it’s not that easy to find and I wanted the type that did not have food coloring added. Taramasalata should be creamy white or if using salmon eggs, the dip will be light pink. After going to Mediterranean grocery shops around the city, I did find one that sold the dip. However, the cook in me wanted to make my own. Some recipes call for bread or potatoes to be added while others omit it.
Taramasalata can also be used as a dipping sauce for veggies, spread on a sandwich, fried calamari, grilled asparagus or dip with potato chips. It is typically served with pita bread or toasted sourdough slices.
you will need
1/2 onion, grated
4 slices white bread (about 100g crust removed and torn into chunks)
3 tablespoons white tarama (fish roe) or salmon eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (adjust according to taste)
1 cup mild olive oil OR sunflower oil
In a food processor add bread, lemon juice, and onion and blend until smooth. Top with the salmon eggs and whiz until blended. With the machine running, add the sunflower oil gradually in a thin stream. As you add the oil the mixture will start to thicken; it’s similar to making mayonnaise.
the culinary chase’s note:
Taramasalata will keep refrigerated for 2 days. Enjoy!