Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taramasalata - Lenten Greek Caviar Spread

Taramasalata, (tahr-uh-muh-suh-lah-tuh) is spread traditionally made from taramas, the salted and cured roe, caviar, of the carp. The roe is mixed with either bread or potato, lemon juice and olive oil. It is often called ‘poor man’s caviar’…. a specialty of Greece and other Mediterranean countries.

This creamy spread is a favorite of ours during Lent and
is a tradition of my family to serve it on Christmas eve. My hubby’s Mom made it every year since she and her husband enjoyed it on a trip to New York in a Greek restaurant in the 60s. She has been making it ever since. So have I once becoming part of this family. I love it as an appetizer or meze. We invite guests to try the tarama on a crispy piece of bread before I tell them what’s in it! They are not disappointed. Serve it with red or yellow peppers, lower in carbs.

You can find jars of ready made taramasalata. I prefer making my own. I buy the tarama at Stamoolis Brothers in the Strip in Pittsburgh. You can find carp roe caviar at most Greek or Middle Eastern markets.

Today I made it with wheat bread for the first time. Turned out just fine….and better for you!


4oz fish roe (4 Tbs)
8 slices day old bread, moistened with enough water to be soggy
Juice of 2 lemons
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 c olive oil or vegetable oil

Remove the crusts from the bread and squeeze the water from it. In a food processor, combine the bread with the roe and blend well. Add lemon juice and onions and process again. Gradually add in the oil, like you do when making mayonnaise until it is light and fluffy, pale pink in color. Depending on how much water was in the bread, you may not have to use all the oil. Makes about 3 cups. You can cut the recipe in half. Serve with crackers, raw vegetables or olives
Ingredients: Remember to buy just the tarama, not taramasalata!

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