Laiik Makes Greek Food: Taramosalata
It's tangy, it's salty, it has a mellow fish roe flavor and a divinely velvety texture. It's our favorite dip of all time - taramosalata. This month, we're making it because 1) it's Sarakosti (or the fasting period leading up to Greek Easter) and 2) we loooove it and eat it every.damn.day. If you choose not to make this at home, but instead order it at a restaurant, scroll to the end to see our pro-tips.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes, Portions: 6
Ingredients: sliced white bread, approximately 400 grams (or 8 to 10 slices), 1 whole onion, 2 garlic cloves (optional), 200 grams (or a little less than 1 cup) of cod roe, 2 lemons, 1 and 1/4 cups olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar.
- Slice a whole onion
- Slice two garlic cloves (this is optional)
- Sauté the onions in some olive oil until caramelized, add some sugar, pepper, salt and in the end add the garlic.
- Cut the crust from the sliced bread.
- Add the bread to a bowl, and add water until the bread is soaked through.
- Squeeze the soaked bread well and add to a mixer
- To the mixer, add the cod roe, the sautéed onions and garlic and some olive oil.
- Add the zest from two lemons, as well as the lemon juice.
- Blend well until creamy
- Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and blend again
Serve with olives, a sprinkle of fresh thyme and Lagana bread if you have it (Greek Shrove Monday bread).
We know a lot of you will simply order this at your local Greek restaurant. As taramosalata connoisseurs, we advise you to look for the following indicators of a good batch of taramosalata:
Tip 1: What color is it? If it's nearing a hot pink or god-forbid, red, do NOT order. Food coloring has most likely been added to it which means it probably lacks flavor. The ideal color is either a very light pink or an off-white. There is a caveat to this: some restaurants do twists on their taramosalata, ie a black taramosalata featuring cuttle fish ink, and these can be very tasty!
Tip 2: What does the texture look like? Is it grainy? We would most likely advise you not to order. If it's grainy it means they've probably added a lot of filler like additional bread or potato which again, dilutes the flavor. It should have a creamy look and velvety texture. Caveat: we've had a grainy taramosalata before that didn't taste bad, but it's rare and we still prefer a velvety and/or fluffy texture.
Tip 3: Order alongside other mezzedes, like Gigantes Plaki and Dolmades.
Tip 4: Enjoy!