AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Taramasalta: Greek Mayo? DATE: 2/22/2009 08:40:00 AM ----- BODY:
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Who doesn’t love mayo? I use it in everything, though mostly as a base for something else. I’ll mix it with chipotles to make a dip for corn fritters or with herbs for green goddess salad dressing. Rarely do I just eat it on its own. Which is probably why I like taramsalata so much. It’s essentially mayo that is served with crackers. This Greek dip blends carp roe (fish eggs) with olive oil. Tarama, the actual carp roe, are bright orange and salted. Both the roe and the dip are sold in jars, usually in the cheese case.

The basic technique of making taramasalta is the same as mayonnaise, but the fish eggs are used in place of the chicken eggs. Starting with a spoon of tarama in the food processor, slowly drizzle in olive oil, until it becomes thick and pale orange. The flavor benefits from the addition of raw onions and lots of lemon juice. Most recipes will advise on blending in a slice of water-soaked bread (don’t ask me, I just do as I’m told). And Peter M. suggests also using a touch of smoked onion or liquid smoke. Since he is the authority on Greek food, I accept this as gospel.
Taramasalata
1 slice bread
1 heaping tablespoon tarama
1 1/2 cups oil - all olive oil or a 50-50 blend of olive and canola
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Soak bread in water. Squeeze it out.

2. Put bread and tarama in the basin of a food processor. Turn motor on and let run for 30 seconds.

3. Slowly, slowly drizzle in the oil. When it starts to thicken, add the lemon juice and onions. Continue processing until all the oil is added.

4. Let sit overnight.

5. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:2/22/2009 11:08:00 AM mmmm. that sounds delicious and looks beautiful! i've never heard of it before! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:2/22/2009 11:28:00 AM Wow, I've never heard of this, sounds interesting ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Peter M DATE:2/22/2009 11:41:00 AM Julia, I use a dash of liquid smoke (no mention of smoked onion)because some Taramas in Greece have that hint of smoke that I love.

Your tarama looks dreamy and I can't wait to make a batch this upcoming Lent.

Thanks for the link-luv.;) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:2/22/2009 10:28:00 PM So delicious, and so simple to make. Who knew? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bishop22 DATE:2/23/2009 01:16:00 AM I don't like mayo. I know a whole bunch of people who don't touch it, just like me :-) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:2/23/2009 06:29:00 AM Heather and Cathy, You can also buy it pre-made, though homemade is much better!

Peter, aha! Thanks for the explanation.

Lydia, Indeed... though it still isn't Miracle Whip ;)

Bishop22, I promise I won't make you or any of your friends eat it. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Laurie Constantino DATE:2/24/2009 04:01:00 AM no, no, no on the liquid smoke (sorry Peter) - for me, at least, the dominant flavor of liquid smoke would overwhelm the tarama. then again, i've never tried it so maybe peter's right that it would be good! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:2/24/2009 06:39:00 AM Laurie, even before you posted your comment, I was thinking about the smoky tasting tarama. It reminds me of bonito - the dried tuna that's served shaved on so many Japanese dishes. To me, that also tastes smoky. I wonder if it's something in the drying/curing process. Any thoughts? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous we are never full DATE:2/24/2009 07:35:00 AM i've gotta say, i often pass that exact glass jar of tarama and now i may just have to pick one up. i love the idea of this as a "dip". i'm also thinking of other ways to use it as a topping for something. are the fish eggs very salty and very fishy or very fishy? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:3/01/2009 01:08:00 PM WANF -- the eggs are definitely salty but not fishy. Briny maybe. ----- --------