Diane Kochilas Glorious Greek Cooking

Diane Kochilas Glorious Greek Cooking
Greek cooking is for health and pleasure.

Healthy Greek Recipes for Everyday by Diane Kochilas

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Clean Monday, March 7th this year, is the start of Greek Lent, the 49-day period of abstention from animal products that also happens to be the time of year when some of the tastiest Greek foods are made. 
One of them, a classic of the Lenten table, is taramosalata. This is the spread made with cod or carp roe. Recipes vary from region to region, but basically a base of either stale bread, potato or blanched almonds is whipped with the fish roe, olive oil, and lemon juice until the mixture emulsifies and becomes smooth and creamy. You can add garlic, scallions, and a pickled pepper or two. You can also make it light and airy by whipping a little water or seltzer into the mixture. 
In Greece you can find two basic types of tarama: white and pink. The former contains no food coloring, while the pink stuff has been dyed to make it more "attractive" to the average consumer. White tarama is more expensive. In the U.S. I have  only seen the pink stuff. 
Serve taramosalata with warm pita triangles, roasted or boiled beets, seafood, and raw vegetables. It's also tasty dolloped on top of a bowl of simple chick pea soup. My friend Argyro Barbarigou of Papadakis restaurant serves her chick pea soup that way. 


Makes 8-10 meze servings

2 one-inch thick slices of stale country-style white bread (not commercial sliced bread), crusts removed
½ cup blanched almonds
1 small garlic clove
150 gr. (5 oz.) tarama (carp or cod roe), preferably white

½ to ¾ cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil
Strained fresh juice of 2 large lemons
Water or seltzer as needed
1. Remove the crusts from the bread and discard or reserve for another use. Run the stale bread under the tap lightly and wring dry between the palms of your hands. Set aside.
2. Place the almonds and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse on and off until they are the consistency of a fine meal. Add the bread and pulse on and off for a few seconds to combine.
3. Add the tarama and pulse on and off to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice, alternating between each. Pulse on and off until the taramosalata reaches a creamy consistency. If it is too thick, add a little water to the mixture and pulse to blend.
Note: Taramosalata is a traditional Lenten dish, but it is also served year-round as a classic appetizer. 
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Anonymous said...

I love taramosalata. Do you happen to know how much flavor difference there is between carp and cod roes?