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Posts Tagged ‘homemade taramasalata’

I adore taramosalata.

I’ve always made a version with potatoes instead of breadcrumbs, but my original recipe makes an enormous quantity – far more than should be eaten at the one time.  And that’s  the problem with taramosalata – it’s hard to stop eating it until it’s all gone.

Over the years I’ve fiddled with the recipe, reducing the added oil as much as I can without compromising the flavour too much.  I’ve also increased the lemon juice, as I find the acidity helps cut through the richness of the fish roe.

These days I make a small batch of taramosalata, just for me.  It’s the right amount to satisfy a craving!

  • 1 large white-fleshed potato
  • 50g tarama paste (roe)
  • 2 tablespoons (8 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • Boiling water

1. Peel the potato, cut it into chunks and microwave until tender (this should only take a few minutes).

2.  In the small bowl of the food processor, blitz together the onion, tarama paste, lemon juice, white vinegar and olive oil.  Pulse until relatively smooth.

3. Add the potato chunks, a few at a time, adding a little boiling water as you go, pulsing to combine. Add the rest of the potatoes and as much boiling water as needed to ensure the finished dip is smooth and quite runny – it will firm up a little in the fridge.  The amount of water needed will depend on the type of potato you use – some absorb more liquid than others.

Note: the original recipe used twice as much olive oil as water, which definitely made for a more luscious dip!  These quantities make approximately a cup and a half of taramosalata.

PS. For all the folks who have asked below, here’s what the tarama roe looks like. Over here, it’s usually available at Greek or Continental delis…

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tarama 010

I used to make this regularly a decade ago after Soula the Greek Girl (as she was known at the time) gave me the recipe.  I hadn’t thought about it in years, but when I passed a tub of tarama roe at the markets recently, I couldn’t resist buying some, despite having Pete in my ear, saying “Are you sure you want to do this?”. I understood his concern. Whenever I’d made this in the past, I’d eaten it until I was sick, then sworn off it forever – it’s one of those recipes…

But this time I was smarter, I made the batch and split it four ways to share with the neighbours.  It’s something you have to do straight away, before you get a chance to (over)eat it – if you think about it too long, you’ll have eaten a tub in the “just tasting for seasoning” process.

This is quite an unusual taramosalata recipe in that it uses potato as thickener rather than bread crumbs.  It’s a lot lighter as a result, but probably won’t keep as long (not that I’ve ever had that problem).  It has the advantage of being gluten-free, and I’ve varied Soula’s original version to lower the fat content, which is hard to believe given that there is still one to two cups of olive oil in the recipe. However, it does make a large quantity – my batch filled four 750ml takeaway containers (now I wish I’d kept two for myself, as I’ve eaten mine).

  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 medium pink potatoes (approx. 1kg)
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 – 2 cups pure olive oil
  • 200g taramosalata roe

Note: taramosalata roe, or “tarama” as it is sometimes labelled, can be bought from most continental delis.  It’s sold by weight – look out for a large white tub of brilliantly hued paste.

tarama 003

1. Wash the potatoes, but don’t peel them. Prick them all over with a fork, then microwave in a covered pyrex dish until soft – in my microwave that took about 13 minutes, but it will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.  Take them and allow them to cool slightly.

2. While the potatoes are microwaving, puree the onion in a large food processor.  Add the lemon juice, salt, vinegar, tarama and ½ cup of oil, and blitz until well combined and as smooth as possible.

3. Peel the hot potatoes, cut them into pieces, and while still hot, add them to the food processor one potato at a time.

4. Add the boiling water and oil as required to keep the mixture loose and dip like.  I like to add the full amount of boiling water and as little of the oil as I can get away with (but a minimum of one cup).   The finished result should be like a very runny mash potato – it will thicken up as it cools in the fridge. 

Note: Soula’s original recipe specified 1 cup boiling water to 2 cups olive oil, in case anyone wants to try the full fat version.

I know it’s culturally incongruous, but I always serve this with corn chips or corn crackers – there’s something about the flavour combination that really appeals to me!

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