Taramosalata is a classic Greek dip made of potato and fish roe
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, its 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.
Keep in mind that this recipe makes a lot of taramosalata – 5 – 6 cups worth. If the recipe is too large, you can easily half it.
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- Stand mixer or hand held mixer
- 2- 2 1/4 pounds potato about 6-7 medium size potatoes
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1 medium size onion, grated or finely minced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 250 grams tarama
- Peel and cut your potatoes into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your potatoes until they are fork tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water that the potatoes boiled in and then drain the potatoes.
- Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Add a bit of the reserved water if you need some liquid to make the potatoes easier to mash. Allow to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the mashed potatoes with the vegetable and olive oil. Mix until well combined and then add the grated onion and the lemon juice. Mix until well combined and your mixture is smooth and free of any lumps.
- Stop your mixer and then spoon in your tarama. Turn the speed back up to medium and mix until just combined. You will need to use a rubber spatula to scape down the sides. If you find that your taramosalata is too thick, fill the jar which your tarama came in with cold water and shake it. Then, add up to 6 tablespoons of this water to the taramosalata until you get the texture that you like.
- Store your taramosalata in the refrigerator.