Don’t you just love pink food? Us too! Like strawberry yogourt, raspberry smoothies and cotton candy, taramosalata is beautifully pink. Its colour is not only beautiful, but handy, because when taramosalata has difficulty rolling off the tongue, it’s lovely hue is mentioned, and suddenly, everyone knows what you are referring to. That pink Greek dip is universally understood to be the traditional carp roe spread which is a staple in many Greek restaurants and homes. It is caviar for the masses.
The key ingredient for taramosalata is carp roe (yes, fish eggs), which is called tarama. It can be found in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern stores, or on-line. Tarama is not usually eaten in its pure form, but is instead mixed with other ingredients to create a spread which is delicious slathered over a thick slice of bread, some crackers, or even used as a dip for vegetables.
Taramosalata is a lenten friendly food, which is particularly important if you are concerned that you may not be getting enough nutrients in your diet while fasting. Thankfully, all fish eggs, including carp roe, are very high in Omega-3 fats, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Roe is also one of the only foods which contains Vitamin D. In addition, it is a great source of Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, zinc, and iodine. Who knew that such teeny tiny little eggs could pack such a nutritional punch.
There are recipes for taramosalata which use bread, but our parents make their taramosalata with mashed potatoes. When it comes time to mash your boiled potatoes, be sure not to include any other ingredients. The only thing you may add to the potatoes is some of the water they were boiled in, in case the mash is too thick and clumpy. You want to end up with mashed potatoes which have a very smooth consistency.
Our parents are not particular about the type of potato they use here; they simply use whatever they have on hand.
You will notice that in this recipe both olive oil and vegetable oil are used. The reason for mixing the two is because using pure olive oil would be too heavy and rich. If you are fasting from olive oil during lent, you can also experiment with using only vegetable oil (so that you would have a total of 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil in the recipe). Regardless of the type of oil you use, you may be remarking that this is a lot of oil. It is, but keep in mind that this recipe makes a lot of taramosalata. If the recipe is too large, you can easily half it.
Mia Kouppa: Taramosalata
- 3/4 cup grated onion (about 2 medium sized onions)
- 250 grams tarama
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 1/3 cups mashed potato (from approximately 6 large peeled potatoes)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the grated onion, the tarama, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the vegetable oil. Whisk on high for approximately 10 minutes
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add the mashed potatoes, a large spoonful at a time. when all of the potato has been added, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil, and the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. Increase speed of mixer. Continue to whisk for an additional 10 minutes.
- Store in the refrigerator.